MP Jamus Lim

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim (Sengkang): I just wonder if the Minister, in light of the fact that as he explained, the JGI was so extraordinarily successful with helping with the placement of ex-offenders, whether this suggest to him that the Yellow Ribbon scheme, in and of itself, might actually be under-providing the kind of support that would be necessary to help with the rehabilitation of ex-offenders?

Dr Tan See Leng: I thank the Member for the supplementary question. I do not think it is a linear correlated type of relationship, because the real big issue over the last two and a half years has been COVID-19 and the externality, the black swan event, was so huge that, if you look at the JGI across the board for the entire economy and industry, it has supported three quarters of a million people. And I think it has benefited something like tens of thousands of firms. So, if you look at a magnitude of that part of it, I do not think, by virtue of the fact that it has helped so many people and has uplifted so many people, to then come back and say that, “Oh, as a result of that, our YRSG initiatives are insufficient”. I do not think it is an apple-for-apple comparison.

My point is that, moving forward, as I have said, we continue to review, to tweak the policies to see how we can help our ex-offenders to get gainful employment, even faster and stay in gainful employment even faster. But if we sunset the entire JGI scheme and we maintain it for a very targeted group of people, particularly the ex-offenders, then obviously it brings to mind, how do we protect the confidentiality status of this group of people.

There are a lot of all these considerations that we would take on board and I do not want to front run this thing. We are working very closely with agencies on the ground, with MHA; and we will take the suggestions as proposed by the hon Member of Parliament Mr Murali on board as well.

Ministry of Manpower
10 January 2023


%d bloggers like this: