With Senior Minister of State Sim Ann and Parliamentary Secretary Rahayu Mahzam as Co-Chairs, the Alliance brings together members from across the 3P sectors, with a focus on developing support mechanisms and infrastructure for victims of online harms.
Following a series of conversations since February 2021 that engaged more than 300 stakeholders from diverse backgrounds1, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) today launched the “Singapore Together Alliance for Action to tackle online harms, especially those targeted at women and girls”2 (the AfA). These include technology facilitated gender-based harassment issues such as the non-consensual one-to-many publication of images and personal details online; unwelcomed one-to-one interactions online, ranging from sexual harassment to online grooming; and the existence of online platforms that encourage vice and harm.
2. The AfA will focus on closing the digital safety gap, and on taking action to enhance the freedom and safety of our women and girls in a digital future. A key recommendation that came up from the earlier conversations was the need to develop support mechanisms and infrastructure for victims of online harms. This would entail: (i) providing help to victims of online harms by providing tools, knowledge and assistance; (ii) creating a safer space online for all by providing support, advice, education, and (iii) helping shape norms around safe and responsible use of digital devices and online spaces.
3. The AfA is co-chaired by Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and National Development Ms Sim Ann, and Parliamentary Secretary for Communications and Information Ms Rahayu Mahzam. Taking a whole-of-nation partnership approach, the AfA will start with 48 members across the people, public and private (3P) sectors, to address the issue of online harms in the following five key workstreams as suggested by participants of the earlier conversations:
i. Public Education Cluster – To look into developing educational resources, workshops
and campaigns for various target audiences.
ii. Research Cluster – To look into scoping and conducting studies, including
understanding emerging trends and develop localised scales to measure digital safety.
iii. Victim Support Cluster – To look into counselling, psychological and legal support.
iv. Youth Engagement Cluster – To look into campus advocacy initiatives and peer support
v. Volunteerism Cluster – To identify areas where volunteers from the wider community
could play a role.
The AfA members are at Annex.
4. The AfA will also look into partnerships with various stakeholders to strengthen and drive the cause. For a start, MCI is supporting the private-public collaboration with DBS and Singapore Judiciary on a community hackathon to generate innovative solutions for safer and kinder online spaces3.
5. On the launch of the AfA, Ms Sim Ann said, “Over the past six months, the community, industry and government have had meaningful conversations on how we can close the digital safety gap for women and girls in Singapore. I am heartened not only by the enthusiasm of stakeholders but also by the quality of ideas they have put forth. We are now ready to embark on this AfA to take concerted action together, test out initiatives and develop impactful programmes. My hope is for this AfA to be the start of a movement that will grow from strength to strength in advancing the cause of women and promoting a safer internet for all.”
6. Emphasising the importance of partnerships, Ms Rahayu Mahzam said, “With the launch of this AfA, we hope to generate nation-wide interest and action towards the cause. More than just conversations, we need innovative and workable solutions, as well as boots on the ground to bring our conversations to fruition. The Hackathon is a good start and we are looking forward to more ground-up conversations and initiatives in the future.”
7. Interested members of the public who are passionate about co-creating initiatives to tackle online harms, and contributing to the AfA can indicate their interest at go.gov.sg/mciafa.
Annex - AfA Members
1. Anbarasu Rajendran, CEO, Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA)
2. Anita Low-Lim, Senior Director, TOUCH Community Services
3. Carmen Low, Co-Founder, Afterglow; Member of 15th National Youth Council
4. Chew Han Ei, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Policy Studies, Lee Kuan Yew School of
Public Policy and Principal Investigator, Centre for Trusted Internet and Community, National
University of Singapore
5. Claire Nazar, Director, Kalco Law LLC
6. Clara Koh, Head of Public Policy, Singapore and ASEAN, Facebook
7. Carol Loi, Founder and Principal Consultant, Village Consultancy
8. Elmie Nekmat, Associate Professor, Department of Communications and New Media and
Principal Investigator, Centre for Trusted Internet and Community, National University of
9. Eirliani Abdul Rahman, Co-founder of YAKIN (Youth and Adult survivors and Kin in Need)
10. Eunice Olsen, Founder, Eunice Olsen Media
11. Fong Wei Li, Managing Director, Forward Legal LLC
12. Ganesh R.Kalyanam, Director, Office of Student and Graduate Affairs, Republic Polytechnic
13. Georgette Tan, President, United Women Singapore.
14. Gia Lim, Undergraduate, Nanyang Technological University
15. Harminder Singh, Deputy Head, Office of Student Life, Singapore University of Social Sciences
16. Hazlina Abdul Halim, President, Persatuan Pemudi Islam Singapura
17. Ho Suu Wei, APAC Director of Public Policy and Economic Graph, LinkedIn
18. Irene Ang, Founder, Fly Entertainment
19. Isaac Ong, Founder, Colours Global Pte Ltd
20. Jamin Tan, Head, APAC Regional Product Policy, TikTok
21. Jeff Cheong, President, Tribal Worldwide (Asia)
22. Joel Lim, Managing Director, ZYRUP
23. Junie Foo, President, Singapore Council of Women’s Organisations and CEO, Methodist
24. Lalitha Subramony, Vice-President (Well-being), Club2Care
25. Lee Mong Li, Professor, Department of Computer Science, and Principal Investigator, Centre
for Trusted Internet and Community, National University of Singapore
26. Leonard Lim, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Zoom
27. Lim How Khang, Assistant Professor of Law and Computer Science (Practice), Singapore
28. Lim Sun Sun, Professor and Head of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Singapore University
of Technology and Design
29. Lin Shumin, Director, Dispute Resolution, Drew and Napier LLC
30. Lin Youyi, Presenter for Channel 8, Mediacorp
31. Liyana Sinwan, Senior Associate, K&L Gates Straits Law LLC and Volunteer Lawyer with
Defence Guild SG
32. May Oo Lwin, Professor and Chairperson of Wee Kim Wee School of Communication &
Information, Nanyang Technological University
33. Nadia Hanim Abdul Rahman, Honorary council member of Islamic Scholars and Teachers
Association of Singapore (PERGAS); Ustazah
34. Nadia Yeo, Co-founder of the Young Women in Leadership Dialogue (YWILD) and former
Assistant Chief Council, IMDA and PDPC
35. Natalie Pang, Senior Lecturer, Department of Communications and New Media and Principal
Investigator, Centre for Trusted Internet and Community, National University of Singapore
36. Nisha Rai, Undergraduate, National University of Singapore and Founder of Closed Doors,
37. Norshahril Saat, Senior Fellow, ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute
38. Rachel Teo, Government Affairs and Public Policy Lead, Singapore, Google
39. Ridhwan Basor, Ustaz and Head, Community Resilience, MUIS
40. Shailey Hingorani, Head of Advocacy and Research, AWARE
41. Sharminee N Ramachandra, President, Club2Care
42. Simran Kaur Toor, Partner, Wong Partnership
43. Stefanie Yuen-Thio, Joint Managing Partner, TSMP Law Corporation
44. Sujimy Mohamed, Managing Director, ScreenBox Pte Ltd
45. Sunil Sudheesan, Director, Quahe, Woo & Palmer LLC
46. Sylvia Chan, CEO and Co-Founder, Night Owl Cinematics
47. Wang Shuyang, Digital Content Editor, NewsHub, Chinese Media Group, Singapore Press
48. Yeo Lay, Assistant Director and Head, Office of Student Life, Singapore University of Social
1 Stakeholders engaged included those from corporate firms, technology companies, community organisations, the legal community, the academia, the media industry, parents and youths.
2 The AfA supports the Digital for Life movement and the wider inter-agency conversations on women’s development.
3 The Hackathon will formally kick-off later today (21 Jul) at 2pm, where Ms Rahayu Mahzam will be giving opening remarks.