Industry leaders join fight against terror

Safety is paramount for Ms Agnes Lau, head of facilities and corporate services at electrical, IT and furniture retailer Courts.

Staff are sent for emergency preparedness training on topics like first aid and how to use fire extinguishers.

Every Courts retail outlet has at least one or two staff trained in first aid, while bigger stores have four or five trained employees.

Ms Lau, 55, said: "We have to be prepared at all times and not take safety for granted," she said. "Even during times of peace, we need to train (staff in) fire safety and emergency preparedness."

She is one of 100 industry leaders who will help in the fight against terror in Singapore.

All will be appointed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) later this year as part of a Workplace Community Leaders Programme, which was announced at the annual SGSecure@Workplace Seminar at Furama City Centre yesterday.

So far, 80 leaders, including employers, top union officials and industry or trade association leaders, have been identified.

Among other things, the leaders will help to build rapport with employees to engage them in emergency preparedness and provide feedback to the ministry on specific concerns within their industries.

Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan, who launched the programme, said: "We hope to prepare our workplace community leaders to be able to grow their networks, better appreciate the prevailing security climate and communicate effectively with their respective communities both during peacetime and in a crisis."

MOM said it would train the leaders in areas such as crisis communication and basic life-saving skills.

They will also be alerted to the latest terror threats and developments through regular sharing sessions and information bulletins. MOM will engage the leaders in co-developing crisis response plans and regular exercises.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 19, 2018, with the headline 'Industry leaders join fight against terror'. Print Edition | Subscribe