More help, job opportunities for Malay/Muslim community

More help, job opportunities for Malay/Muslim community

This article was originally published by The Straits Times on 07 March, 2023.


A digital repository will be launched later in 2023 to provide greater support for research fellows under the Research Programme in the Study of Muslim Communities of Success and asatizah, so that they can provide religious guidance with confidence.

The repository will contain resources on Islamic and social sciences covering emerging issues related to governance, society, science and technology. Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Masagos Zulkifli said that the research fellows will also be given training opportunities in research methodologies and data visualisation, along with mentorship with local and international academics.


Project Dian@M3, an initiative to support Malay/Muslim families living in public rental flats, will be expanded to six more blocks in three towns – Chua Chu Kang, Jurong and Tampines. The expansion will support 500 more households, up from around 250 households today. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Maliki Osman said: “Often times, these families face complex issues that require support from many different government and non-government agencies. We will improve coordination across public agencies and com- munity organisations, to provide more integrated wrap-around support for the vulnerable.”

Project Dian was launched in December 2021 and focuses on three groups of households – the elderly who live alone, middle-aged parents with adult children or multigenerational families, and young families with young children. The Dian Ambassador programme was launched in October 2022 to provide home-based support to families with children between three and six years old, over a six-month period. Since its pilot, 30 volunteers have been trained. The ambassadors will visit the families fortnightly to read with the children and engage them in activities to develop their cognitive and social skills.


The number of volunteers across the 11 M3@Towns increased from 700 to 800 in 2022, reaching close to 7,000 Malay/Muslim households. A framework has also been put in place to equip these volunteers with the right skill sets to engage target families, and more than 150 volunteers have gone through the training programmes since September 2021. The training has helped these volunteers become more confident in building rapport with the residents, said Dr Maliki.


Dr Maliki said that the network of Malay/Muslim organisations and Indian/Muslim organisations play an important role in corralling resources and implementing programmes to meet the diverse needs of the community. He said that the organisations
can play agreater role in community building through partnerships. In December, the Singapore Muslim Women’s Association
(PPIS) collaborated with the Prophet Muhammad’s Birthday Memorial Scholarship Fund Board (LBKM) to launch a new postgraduate scholarship to support women in achieving their aspirations. Financial advisers were invited to conduct financial literacy talks at M3@Towns, alongside volunteer lawyers who conducted sharing sessions to guide residents in applying for lasting power of attorney. “Such collaborative partnerships between Government and various community nodes often have a
multiplier effect on the community,” said Dr Maliki.



A programme to prepare Malay/Muslim children for mathematics has supported close to 4,000 children since 2018. About eight in 10 graduates of the programme did not need to get learning support for the subject when they entered Primary 1. The KelasMateMatika programme, for children aged four to six, prepares them for Primary 1 mathematics.

Besides early exposure to maths, students go through specially curated online coding camps and learning journeys. The programme targets to enrol 2,500 students this year. Dedicated runs of the programme will be organised at targeted pre-school centres, including mosque-based kindergartens.

The Mendaki Tuition Scheme (MTS) has supported more than 7,600 students across Singapore. The programme fees were also reduced to $10 per year, from $210, last year. Senior Minister of State for Manpower and Defence Zaqy Mohamad said: “Besides academic achievements, it is important for our youth to have a good social support system. Besides their families, mentors can guide and help our youth expand their world view.”

Mentoring programme #amPowered has been set up at all three Institute of Technical Education colleges and across three
M3@Towns in Jurong, Chua Chu Kang andMarsiling-Yew Tee. The mentoring sessions will be held fully physically this year, moving away from its online format during the pandemic. Mendaki will also organise one youth mentoring programme in
each of the 11 M3@Towns by the end of this year, taking support closer to Malay/Muslim youth.


Mendaki will expand its Professional Networks programme to connect young workers to a wider range of career pathways. In 2022, the programme, which connects Malay/Muslim professionals to others in their field and helps younger workers enter the
industry, connected with more than 400 Malay/Muslim professionals in the care, green and digital sectors. In 2023, the network will expand to include other in-demand industries such as finance, sustainability and engineering. Mendaki has also strengthened its employability networks, involving agencies such as NTUC LearningHub and SkillsFuture Singapore to better assist Malay/Muslim workers with their employment and upskilling needs. Close to 2,000 workers have been reached so far.