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Singapore Government

Providing Persons With Disabilities A Platform To Establish Fulfilling Careers In The Civil Service


Providing Persons With Disabilities A Platform To Establish Fulfilling Careers In The Civil Service

Mr Samuel Chong

Assistant Director, Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Towards a more sustainable Singapore

 Mr Samuel Chong studied the engineering of sustainable energy systems and the economics behind them, and has a deep interest in how energy commodities can be utilised, as well as the trade-offs involved for the system to be economically and environmentally sustainable. Photo and story courtesy of PSD.

“I first joined the National Environment Agency in 2015 as an Engineer in the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Department, where my work involved working in partnership with energy-intensive companies and industry associations to help them develop and implement plans to improve energy efficiency, as well as comply with statutory energy management requirements. Besides the environmental benefits of these practices, energy efficiency represents a golden opportunity for companies to lower their operating and energy costs, which makes good business sense. I then moved on to the Waste & Resource Management Department, where I handled the review of long-term land and infrastructure planning for waste management facilities, as well as development of programmes under the Zero Waste Masterplan and Resource Sustainability Act. This charts the path in our journey to minimise waste and ensure that waste management infrastructures remain adequate.

At the Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment, where I am at currently, I work on a myriad of waste and sustainability issues such as reviewing our long-term waste policies, driving the development of needle-moving projects like NEWSand, and spearhead efforts across the public service towards a circular economy. My role in MSE also brought me to coordinate the inter-agency development and enforcement of safe distancing measures, as a key part of our nation’s fight against COVID-19. Despite working behind the scenes, I’m delighted that my work makes a positive impact toward a more sustainable and safer Singapore.

The opportunities that have come my way keep me humble. I’m proud to have been able to overcome the challenges of living with a disability, and fortunate that my work has not been hampered by my condition. It’s empowering to know that jobs in the Public Service are accessible to people with disabilities. I hope to continue to make a positive impact in people’s live, inspire others who have disabilities, and contribute to the community at large.”

Ms Fiona Tan

Archivist, National Archives of Singapore

                                                Photo and story courtesy of PSD
“‘Nothing about us without us.’ This proverb, which has roots from the Polish saying ‘Nic o nas, bez nas’, rings true and could well be underlying motivation for the Enabling Masterplan. For true inclusivity, it is important to involve people with disabilities into discussions of representation and policy formulation, and this can only happen when the infrastructure and systems permit for a chance for us to be part of the conversation, without disability being the sole defining factor. I am grateful that NLB has given me that chance to join the organisation on my own merits, and has been willing to have open and frank discussions about reasonable accommodation to make my working life a safe and fruitful one. 

Ms Christine Ong

Senior Assistant Director, MSF

A determination to change the way Singaporeans view persons with disabilities, and embodying the message of inclusion through work and action.

Ms Christine Ong presenting at the Public Service Conference 2016. Photo and story courtesy of PSD.

“When people think of disabilities, they think of all the things that the person is unable to do – instead of what the person can do. I feel passionately about changing this perception, and am happy to have had a three year stint at MSF’s Disability Office where I could play a part in such work. At the Disability Office, I also engaged various partners and stakeholders in the disability sector in developing policies and programmes for those with disabilities.

In my experience, I found alternative arrangements that helped me in my work; for example – I communicate via emails to partners and stakeholders, use visual tools when interacting with my colleagues; and my colleagues understand that I choose where I sit at meetings so that I can have better line-of-sight of people and lip-read.

I credit my mother as my inspiration and for empowering me. She is a very consistent person, and she’s always there for me. Being a former teacher, she also instilled in me the values of being focused and attentive. I remember my mum reprimanding me for being careless in a school test. It wasn’t the lost marks that upset her; she could tell that I’d been careless. That taught me to be meticulous in my work.

As a child, I attended a mainstream school, and I believe that this experience helped me interact with people better. I understand why some parents and caregivers of children with disability are overly protective – they don’t want their children to be exposed to negative elements or be bullied. We can definitely do more in being more inclusive.

Singapore aspires to be a Smart Nation, and I’m all for it – but we also need to be a nation with a heart. I’d be most happy if inclusion becomes a fact of life in Singapore society. As public officers, we have the privilege of shaping Singapore’s future. It’d be good to consider, in the course of our work, whether measures benefiting our target groups can also support those with disabilities. If not, are there accommodations we can make to include them? Such accommodations often don’t require extra money or time, just thoughtfulness.”

Mr Mohaimin Tokyan

Formerly of MCCY

Video courtesy of PSD

Born with low vision, Mr Mohaimin Tokyan volunteers as an inclusion ambassador with the Disabled People’s Association Singapore to encourage the public to see people with disabilities for who they are, as well as to teach Braille to visually impaired people. These experiences have helped him connect with his clients at work.