Government & Politics

A national council to promote water safety, Press Release, 19 Apr 2007

MCYS MEDIA RELEASE NO: 26/2007 DATE OF ISSUE: 19/04/2007 A NATIONAL COUNCIL TO PROMOTE WATER SAFETY A National Water Safety Council (NWSC) has been formed by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), to take the lead to promote and enhance water safety in Singapore. This follows the completion of the review of water safety measures and initiatives in Singapore by the inter-agency Water Safety Taskforce, chaired by MCYS’ Director (Sports). The Taskforce identified three b
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  MCYS MEDIA RELEASE NO: 26/2007DATE OF ISSUE: 19/04/2007 A NATIONAL COUNCIL TO PROMOTE WATER SAFETY A National Water Safety Council (NWSC) has been formed by the Ministryof Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS), to take the lead topromote and enhance water safety in Singapore.This follows the completion of the review of water safety measures andinitiatives in Singapore by the inter-agency Water Safety Taskforce, chaired byMCYS’ Director (Sports). The Taskforce identified three broad key areas inenhancing water safety, namely, public education, attainment of swimmingproficiency, and the application of lifesaving skills and equipment. The formationof the NWSC is one of the Taskforce’s key recommendations. Other keyrecommendations include a Learn-To-Swim Programme which is beingintroduced to schools and the development of a water safety website. Anoverview of the Taskforce, its key recommendations and MCYS’ responses arein Annex A. The recommendations have either been accepted, or will be studiedfurther by the NWSC. National Water Safety Council Serving as the national coordinating body to drive and sustain initiatives invarious aspects of Water Safety, the NWSC is chaired by Dr Teo Ho Pin,Member of Parliament for Bukit Panjang and Honorary Advisor to the SingaporeLife Saving Society. Dr Teo served as Advisor to the Water Safety Taskforce,and is a veteran lifeguard and swimmer. The NWSC comprises members fromthe people, private and public sectors. The Council is appointed by MCYS andwill serve for a two-year term. The full list of Council members is attached in Annex B .Explaining the rationale for setting up this Council, Minister for CommunityDevelopment, Youth and Sports, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said: “For a small nationlike ours, people are our greatest asset and we need to minimize loss of livesthrough preventable mishaps such as drowning. Everyone has an important roleto play and it is critical for Singaporeans to be equipped with swimmingproficiency, as well as to have a good grasp of water safety skills.”The new Council, building upon the foundation of the Water SafetyTaskforce and championing the Taskforce’s recommendations, has set itself sixkey tasks:a) Promote a water safety culture among all Singaporeans;  b) Initiate and coordinate public education efforts on water safety inswimming pools and open water (e.g. the sea);c) Increase children’s participation in water survival and swimmingprogrammes through various platforms;d) Work with the relevant government agencies to promote andencourage swimming pool designs that enhance water safety;e) Embark on further research on issues related to the prevention of drowning; andf) Establish national water safety standards.Looking forward to the new challenge, Dr Teo Ho Pin highlighted: “AsSingaporeans become increasingly mobile and travel all over the world, water safety is certainly an issue that goes beyond our local waters. My fellowmembers and I of the National Water Safety Council will learn from best practicesfrom around the world. More importantly, we see water safety as a collectiveeffort that requires government and non-government agencies, communityorganizations as well as members of the public to play their part.”==================================================    Annex AOverview of the Water Safety Taskforce 1 The terms of reference for the Taskforce were to:a) Evaluate the adequacy of measures currently adopted by variousagencies to promote Water Safety;b) Propose a holistic and coordinated framework on Water Safety thatcovers the promotion of the awareness of Water Safety, theattainment of swimming proficiency, and the application of lifesaving skills and equipment;c) Encourage various sectors (voluntary, grassroots and commercial)to administer effective programmes that help promote theimportance of Water Safety and to advance swimming proficiency. 2 Chaired by MCYS Director for Sports, Mr Chan Mun Wei, the Taskforcewas formed in September 2005 and comprised representatives from thefollowing agencies:a) Ministry of Education (MOE)b) Singapore Sports Council (SSC)c) Health Promotion Board (HPB)d) Public Utilities Board (PUB)e) People’s Association (PA)f) Singapore Life Saving Society (SLSS)g) Singapore Swimming Association (SSA)3 Dr Teo Ho Pin (Mayor, Northwest CDC) served as the advisor to theTaskforce.4 Key recommendations of the Taskforce were: Recommendations MCYS’ Response a) Encourage students to participate inswimming programmes, and providepractical support in terms of fundingand suitable packages to suit needs of different families and schools.Recommendation accepted. MCYSand MOE are collaborating to introducea Learn-To-Swim programme for schools.b) Set up a Water Safety Park toshowcase safe practices, operationsand systems.Recommendation to be studied further by the NWSC.  c) Set up a National Water SafetyCouncil for Singapore as the nationalcoordinating body overseeing allaspects of Water Safety; this should beintegrated with the focus on sportssafety in the promotion of sportsparticipation in the community.Recommendation accepted. TheNWSC has been formed in 2007.d) Organise annual campaigns andregular Community LifesavingProgrammes to promote Water Safetyto members of the public.Recommendation accepted. This willbe implemented by the NWSC.e) Launch and maintain an interactiveWater Safety website where userscould feedback suggestions, ideas or even participate in games to enhanceawareness of Water Safety.Recommendation accepted. This willbe implemented by the NWSC.f) Review regulations on pool design toremove unsafe design features.Recommendation to be studied further by the NWSC.g) Embark on further research to studythe local data on drowning incidences.Recommendation to be studied further by the NWSC.5 A copy of the full Taskforce report can be downloaded at MCYS’


Sep 12, 2017


Sep 12, 2017
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