Progress of Malay/Muslim Community

MP Faisal Manap

Mr Muhamad Faisal Bin Abdul Manap (Aljunied): Mr Chairman, in Malay please.

(In Malay): Mr Chairman, I would like to seek clarification as well as share a suggestion on some matters related to the Malay-Muslim community. The first is about the Community Leaders Forum (CLF). The CLF was formed in October 2003.

The objective of the CLF is to provide a platform for Malay/Muslim social agencies to further strengthen and enhance the coordination and collaboration between these agencies so that the Malay/Muslim community can better benefit from their programs and initiatives.

I would like to ask the following questions about the CLF. First, what is the status of the CLF? Second, is the function of CLF still relevant after the establishment of M3? Third, what is the difference between these two platforms and whether, there is duplication between them?

The second point, Mr. Chairman, is about the Malay-Muslim Community Development Fund or MMCDF which was established in 1991 to assist Malay/Muslim organisations in their efforts to empower the community. The questions that I would like to ask the Minister is, first, when was the last review conducted for the MMCDF and when is the next review? Second, what is the amount of funds that distributed and also the number of organisations that received these funds in the past five years, that is, from 2018 to 2022?

Next, I would like to touch on efforts to help the Muslim community understand, embrace and deal with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) issues in Singapore.

At the beginning of 2022, PERGAS formed a special task force team for LGBT issues. Among the efforts held by PERGAS are dialogue sessions with Muslim individuals from the LGBT community and also provide guidance to the Muslim community in Singapore on facing and managing this issue. As I said in my Committee of Supply speech last year, I welcome PERGAS’s initiative.

Mr Chairman, in November last year, this House passed an amendment bill to repeal section 377A. I would like to make a recommendation for MUIS to support as well as collaborate with PERGAS to enhance the effectiveness of their initiatives on the LGBT issue.

The fourth and last point is about the efforts on the part of the Minister and the ruling party Malay/Muslim MPs regarding the use of tudung for uniformed groups in the public service.

Mr Chairman, there have been several times when the tudung issue was raised in this House, the Minister in-charge of Muslim Affairs, either the current or the previous one, has said that such matters should be discussed in a closed session or behind closed doors. The last time this was said was two years ago during the 2021 Committee of Supply debates when it was recommended that nurses in the public health sector be given permission to don the tudung.

I would like to seek clarification from the Minister whether, even after the Government had allowed nurses in the public health sector to wear the tudung, are this often-mentioned closed door sessions still ongoing, perhaps discussing with the Government to consider the wearing of the tudung for other uniformed groups in both ministries of Home Affairs and Defence? If there is, how many sessions have been held and, if no, why? That is all, Mr Chairman.

Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
6 March 2023

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