18 Dec 2020

Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA) – Singapore Business Federation (SBF) Compassion Fund Donors Appreciation Event – Remarks by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Mr John Vijayan Vasavan

President, Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA)

 

Ms Cheryl Kong

Executive Director, Singapore Business Federation (SBF)

 

Ladies and gentlemen

 

  1. Good afternoon. Thank you for inviting me to join you at this event. I am very happy and honoured to be here, to see some new faces and also some familiar faces.

     

  2. 2020 has been a tumultuous year for all of us. COVID-19 has brought about great challenges and hardship, but we have come quite some distance, as a country, as a community, and even as an industry in security.

     

  3. So I would like to say a big thank you to the security agencies and the industry and the community in the security services, for your resilience and hard work over the last many months. From the onset of COVID-19, we talked about the medical profession and being in the frontline. We know that the security officers are just well in the frontline. Many of whom, not just having to deal with their own security buildings and their jobs,but some of them have to be deployed to the foreign worker dormitories and community care facilities. And many of the frontline, risky kind of locations, to do the extra job. Many also had to step up to take on additional jobs, such as having to take temperatures, access control, and other safe management measures, to look after all of us, not just the security, but the safety and health of all of us. And all these were being done while you yourself and your agency were going through your own challenges in terms of your manpower, having to look after your more vulnerable senior workers, as well as when the Malaysians had to either go back or had to stay in Singapore because they couldn’t go back. So I know these are the challenges that you had to deal with and on behalf of the Government and MHA, I want to say a big thank you to all the security agencies for all their hard work over the last few months.

     

  4. We’ve come this far not just because of the work of the Government or the Ministry or agencies, but a large part also comes from the community. And I thank the Singapore Business Federation for coming up with this Compassion Fund, very apt and very timely. Despite the fact that we are all going through our own challenges, you are taking a step to look out for those who are even worse hit than us. So this Compassion Fund is really going to go a long way to help our people, especially in security officers who are more affected than some of us. So I thank ACSA for rising to the challenge, for raising over $50,000 and SBF for matching it, and Enterprise Singapore, thank you as well. I think this amount that has been raised, close to $160,000 will go a long way to benefit the 500 security officers who are not doing as well and this will go a long way to help them.

     

  5. I also want to thank all of you for stepping up and the 31 donors from ACSA for their timely and generous donation.

     

  6. We are now going towards Phase 3, in two weeks’ time, I hope that’s good news for everybody, but that also means we all have to continue to stay vigilant.

     

  7. We do not know how 2021 will look like but there are two events we should be looking out for. One is how the vaccination is going to unfold. That’s something that is going to affect all of us. The vaccination will be here, but how is it going to be rolled out, how is it going to affect our work, our life and our interaction with each other. That’s something to be watched. I encourage all of us to also think about having our families and ourselves vaccinated when it comes. The other key event which I believe the security agencies will be very keenly involved, will be the World Economic Forum. That will be some time in May next year.

     

  8. I think we all can look ahead to a slightly better year and we all have to continue to work together to make sure we come out even stronger. So I want to thank all of you for your presence today. I thank SBF, Enterprise Singapore and ACSA, as well as NTUC, who are here today, and all the partners, for contributing to this fund, not just building a stronger and more resilient country in Singapore, but one that is full of compassion.

     

  9. Thank you very much and have a good day.
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