The SMF organises closed-door ministerial dialogue sessions as a platform for our members to converse directly with ministers and government officials to better understand policies and provide candid feedback on the challenges that the manufacturing industry face at the ground level. In 2020, businesses were facing unprecedented challenges due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Therefore, in October 2020, the SMF organised separate hybrid dialogue sessions with then Minister for Trade and Industry, Mr Chan Chun Sing as well as then Minister for Manpower, Mrs Josephine Teo for members to give their feedback and queries to the Ministers.
The SMF also organised a dialogue session with National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) Secretary-General Mr Ng Chee Meng in November 2020 that covers a wide range of topics from training and employment challenges arising from the pandemic, competitiveness of the Singapore workforce and the support available for businesses from the NTUC network.
Held at the SMF building and facilitated by SMF President Mr Douglas Foo, these dialogue sessions gives members the opportunity to query the Ministers on the economy and how they may overcome business challenges while protecting their workforce from the virus. Ministers on their part spoke freely, reassuring attendees that the Government is committed to assisting businesses to overcome these challenges.
Besides Dialogue Sessions, the SMF met with members of parliament (MP) Mr Melvin Yong and Ms Tin Pei Ling on separate occasions. Held in October 2020 and January 2021 respectively, the MPs met with SMF President Mr Douglas Foo and SMF Secretary-General Mr Lawrence Pek to discuss possible collaborations with the SMF to support the manufacturing community in Singapore.
Then Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing came to the SMF for a hybrid dialogue session with the members. The session saw 50 live audience, with over 400 members tuning in virtually.
NTUC Secretary-General Mr Ng Chee Meng came to the SMF for a dialogue session with SMF members where he touched on employment challenges and training for the workforce.
Then Minister for Manpower Mrs Josephine Teo and her team i.e. then Second Minister for Manpower Dr Tan See Leng and Senior Minister of State Mr Zaqy Mohamad participated in a dialogue with SMF members.
SMF President Mr Douglas Foo and SMF Secretary-General Mr Lawrence Pek warmly received MP for Macpherson and CEO of Business China Ms Tin Pei Ling who came to the SMF to discuss possible collaborative opportunities to establish partnerships between Singapore companies with companies in ASEAN and China.
SMF President Mr Douglas Foo and SMF Secretary-General Mr Lawrence Pek met with MP for Radin Mas Mr Melvin Yong where they discussed about employment opportunities in the manufacturing community.