microwave eggs by thesign

VIEWS: 456 PAGES: 20

									                                                        april     2004

                                                                  3          1

www.ps21.gov.sg/challenge   Public Service for the 21st Century

   Exploring new vistas
   Public officers on work attachment
   gain new perspectives

                                                      Now you can
                                                      withdraw your
                                                      CPF online
                                                      How MINDEF saves
                                                      $100 million a year
                                                      Transforming Quality
                                                      Circles in CGH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 april            2004

CONTENTS                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   3 A LINE FOR YOU
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Exploding egg gives birth to microwave oven

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           4 WHAT’S HOT
                                                              Published contributions will receive an exclusive gift from the PS21 Office.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Have you got your SingPass?
                                                              “A new outlook for teachers”. Please write to the Editor of Challenge

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              EASY does it!
                                                              We would like to hear your views and suggestions on the cover story,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Now you can withdraw your CPF online
                                                              Give your name, ministry, ministry address and telephone number.
                                                              fax to 6775 3461 or email to LEONG_shih_yeng@psd.gov.sg.
                                                              at PS21 Office, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119620,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Inaugural SPFIS Learning Festival

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           7 AT THE MINISTRIES
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              e-Polling is coming your way

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           8 ECONOMY DRIVE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              How MINDEF saves $100 million every year
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Successful initiatives

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           9 INNOVATION IN ACTION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A kickboxing librarian

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          10 COVER STORY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              A new outlook for teachers

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Stints at DSTA and Shell
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              BCA officers taste life in the private sector

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          12 AT YOUR SERVICE
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Transforming Quality Circles in CGH
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Safer trolleys for all
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Changing sheets is now a breeze
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SNEC introduces two e-newsletters
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              It is attitude that counts
                                                                                                                                  Challenge is published monthly by the PS21 Office, Prime Minister’s Office (Public Service Division),

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          15 JUST DO WIT
                         Editor: Leong Shih Yeng, PS21 Office Editorial Advisors: Boo Chong Han and Tan Chee Seng, PS21 Office

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Keeping troops safe from lightning strikes
                         Editorial Team: Pauline Mah, Organisational Review Committee • Josie Kang, Quality Service Committee •

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Navy WIT’s brainwave

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          16 STAFF MATTERS
                         Cheryl Lee, Staff Well Being Functional Committee • Inthira Mailvaganam, PS21 Office Publishing

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Effective workplace health promotion
                         Consultant: Pagesetters Services Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore: Utopia Press Pte Ltd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              SAF Smoking Cessation Programme

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          18 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A PUBLIC OFFICER
                                                                                                                                  29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119620. T 6874 7558 • Fax: 6775 3461

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Animals is her pet topic

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          19 HEALTHY BODY, ACTIVE MIND
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Screening for breast cancer starts with you
                                                                                                                                  Email: LEONG_shih_yeng@psd.gov.sg • Website: www.ps21.gov.sg

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          20 CHALLENGE QUIZ

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  You can savour juicy updates, bite-size stories, fresh tips, choice ideas and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   plenty of food for thought. What’s more, you’ll love today’s special —
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      the Chomp Chomp online game!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          So hurry, don’t miss out!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Log on to www.ps21.gov.sg/challenge now!
    Dr Percy Spencer was a scientist working for the
Raytheon Corporation in the US.
    One day in 1946, he noticed something very
unusual while doing research for a project related
to radar. He was testing a new vacuum tube called a
magnetron. He found that a bar of chocolate in his
pocket had melted. This puzzled him.
    So he tried another experiment. This time he put some popcorn near the
tube. The popcorn cracked and burst all over the place. Clearly the popcorn
had been cooked.
    The next morning, Spencer decided to put the magnetron tube near an egg. The
egg began to shake as its inside heated up. Then the egg exploded.*
    Spencer asked why these things had happened. The melted bar of chocolate, the
popcorn, and the exploding egg all were cooked by the microwave energy coming
out of the magnetron tube.
    Now, if the egg can be cooked so quickly, why not other foods?
    This was how we came to get the microwave oven.
    Very few of us are scientists. But we do not have to be a scientist to learn a very
useful lesson from this story.
    The lesson is:
    If you see something unusual, ask “Why?” If you do not understand something,
ask “Why?”
    By asking why, you will learn something new. And it may be that you will find
out others also do not know why.
    We all know that children like to ask the question “Why?” Sometimes they ask
so much that adults tell them to stop asking. But it is by asking that they learn.
    We should learn to be like children again. Ask “Why?” And if you have a new
idea and people say you should not try it out, ask “Why not?”
    We need to be curious. We need to be imaginative.
    Ask a lot of “Why?” and “Why not?”

                                                                 Lim Siong Guan Head, Civil Service

* If you put a raw egg in your microwave oven at home, it will quickly cook and it will also explode.
 Warning: Never try to run a microwave oven with the door open. Dr Spencer did not know of the danger of microwaves at first.
 He could have cooked himself. But he soon decided he must not be near the magnetron tube when it is running.
What’s Hot

                                                                                          Have you got
                                                                                          your SingPass?
                                                                                          Your SingPass or Singapore Personal Access
                                                                                          is your common password for accessing and
                                                                                          using all public services online. Put simply, it
                                                                                          is the online equivalent of your NRIC number.
                                                                                          Find out how you can use it to transact with
                                                                                          the Government online.

                                                                                                  ingPass is an alphanumeric password

                                                                                                  made up of 8 to 24 characters. With your
                                                                                                  SingPass, you can do the following:
                                                                                              view your Central Provident Fund (CPF)
                                                                                              Statement of Account
                                                                                          •   transfer your CPF savings from your ordinary        You can apply for your SingPass via the
                                                                                                                                                  eCitizen website.
                                                                                              account to your special account
                                                                                          •   submit a request to encash your Electronic         employment pass holders and dependent pass
                                                                                              Restructuring Shares                               holders can apply for their SingPass.
                                                                                          •   file your income tax through the Inland                To get it by post, make your application
                                                                                              Revenue Authority of Singapore’s (IRAS)            through the eCitizen website. To get your SingPass
                                                                                              website                                            on the spot, visit any CPF office, Community
                                                                                          •   register for a business/company on the BizFile     Development Council or any of the 15 selected
                                                                                              website                                            Community Clubs/Centres. To know more, log on
                                                                                          •   do business with the Government online             to www.eCitizen.gov.sg.
                                                                                              through the GeBiz website                              Read the following stories for two examples of
                                                                                          •   file notice of a civil marriage                    how organisations and members of the public can
                                                                                              All Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents,       benefit from using the SingPass.

                                                                                          EASY does it!
                                                                                                                                                 online       corporate
                                                   Division, GCIO, IDA
                                                   By Lim Seng Joo, Electronic Services

                                                                                            n October 2003, the Inland Revenue Authority
                                                                                          I of Singapore (IRAS) launched the new
                                                                                          e-Services Authorisation System (EASY), a
                                                                                                                                                 information required by
                                                                                                                                                 different government
                                                                                          common business authorisation system.                  services.
                                                                                              EASY allows an organisation to authorise its           With EASY, the
                                                                                          staff or a third-party organisation (for example,      process of transacting
                                                                                          tax agent, professional body) to access                with the Government is
                                                                                                         government services on its behalf.      now a straightforward journey.
                                                                                                               The organisation no longer        Its one-user identification (ID),
                                                                                                                     needs to apply to the       one-password authorisation (SingPass) approach
c h a lh l ae l nl g e g a p r ip l r i 0l 4 0 4

                                                                                                                      various government         makes it “transparent” and seamless for staff or a

                                                                                                                       agencies to change        proxy to access and transact with different
                                                                                                                       authorisation access      government agencies online.
                   e n

                                                                                                                       details. Selected staff       EASY is accessible by all companies and
                                                                                                                       can act on behalf of      businesses registered with the Registry of
                         e a

                                                                                                                       their organisation to     Companies and Businesses, and all societies
                                                                                                                     access and update           registered with the Registry of Societies.
                                                                                                                                            What’s Hot

                                                Now you can withdraw
                                                your CPF online
                                                Gone are the days when people
                                                had to visit the Central Provident
                                                Fund (CPF) Board to withdraw
                                                their CPF when they turned 55.
                                                Now they can go online to apply
                                                for withdrawal.
    By Member Education Department, CPF Board

          n the past, CPF members had to
          visit the CPF Board with their bank
       passbooks, or go to the bank to get
       their bank account numbers
       endorsed in order to apply for
            Now, to use the new e-                 CPF members can log on to the Board’s website at www.cpf.gov.sg,
       withdrawal service, they simply             click on “E-services” and select “Reaching 55: e-Withdrawal” to
                                                   apply for CPF withdrawal.
       need to key in their NRIC number
       and SingPass.
                                    Said Mr Soh Chin Heng, will be able to view their personal information
                                Director (Retirement and online, such as their estimated withdrawal amount
                         o all   Investment Division), “The and CPF Minimum Sum. This will give members a
                  sent t ng
      ngP ass is        xist i    new e-withdrawal more complete picture of their CPF savings, and
The Si members. E o
     CPF              o nt         service saves members help them in planning for their retirement.”
 new          ho log
  mem bers w with their             the hassle of visiting           The e-withdrawal service is currently available
  our e-serv      will b
                         e           our offices to apply for to members who are POSB account holders. This
          L PIN            heir
   CPF PA           eset t             CPF withdrawal. In service will later be extended to UOB and OCBC
          te d to r
    promp      ot  he                   addition, members account holders.
                 IN t          ass.
           PAL P          SingP

                                                     Although EASY can typically be used for
                                                                                                     EASY BENEFITS
                                                e-services built on the PSi (Public Services
                                                                                                     Government agencies do not need to:
                                                Infrastructure) platform, it applies to e-services
                                                built using non-PSi tools too.                       • issue and maintain agency-specific IDs/
                                                    If you are keen to know more about EASY,           passwords for authorised access to their
                                                simply log on to the PS Online Intranet                e-services
                                                (www.intranet.gov.sg/eCitizenSupport) and            • manage agency-specific authorisation
                                                download a factsheet on EASY or even a                 databases
                                                brochure for potential business customers
                                                of EASY.                                             For organisations, EASY allows:
                                                    You can also contact your PS Online account      • the administrators to effect authorisation
                                                managers by sending an email to                        to access multiple government
                                                either Stephanie_Kwok@ida.gov.sg or                    e-services from a central location,
                                                                                                       instead of having to do so with different
                                                                           Agencies          that
                                                                        require copies of the          agencies at multiple websites
                                                                        EASY brochure for            • an employee or a proxy to use only his
                                                                         dissemination          to     own ID and SingPass — and not multiple
                                                                         their customers can           IDs and passwords — for authentication
                                                                       write in to IDA_PS-             and access to different e-services
What’s Hot

                                  Inaugural SPFIS
                                  Learning Festival
                                                                                          importance of continuous learning and personal
                                                                                          mastery. He said, “In a knowledge-based economy,
                                                                                          only continuous learning will equip us for
                                                                                          tomorrow’s world…. It requires us to be willing and
                                                                                          able to constantly and continuously learn new
                                                                                          things, unlearn old ones that are no longer relevant
                                                                                          and re-learn to keep moving forward.” He urged
                                                                                          the audience to embrace lifelong learning.
                                                                                               Two much sought-after speakers, Dr Low Guat
                                                                                          Tin from the National Institute of Education/Nanyang
                                                                                          Technological University and Dr Kirpal Singh from
                                                                                          the Singapore Management University, were invited
                                                                                          to share their thoughts at the symposium.
                                    SPFIS staff could try out many games and learning          Dr Low captivated the audience with her
                                    activities at the Learning Carnival.                  humorous talk entitled “The Enemy is Out There!”
                                                                                          She pointed out that some people are always
                                                                                          inclined to blame others for how things happen
                                                                                          instead of being introspective and reflective. She
                                                                                          also shared about various learning disabilities and
                                                                                          how one can overcome them.
                                                                                               Dr Singh shared on the challenges to lifelong
                                                                                          learning and the guts and gumption we need for
                                                                                          learning and breaking new ground. He said that it is
                                                                                          not the strongest who will survive but the ones who
                                                                                          are most responsive to change who will flourish.
                                                                                          Having some fun
                                                                                          At the end of the symposium, everyone had a
                                                                                          chance to try out many games and learning
                                                                                          activities organised by the different PID divisions
                                    Staff responded in positive ways to the
                                    Learning Festival.
                                                                                          at a fun-filled Learning Carnival.
                                                                                              For example, the participants could learn about
                                                                                          themselves by taking the MBTI® (Myers-Briggs Type
                    By PID, SPF

                                          reating our people as our most valued assets    Indicator ®) personality test. They could also gain

                                  T       and developing a family of valued
                                          professionals are tenets of the shared vision
                                  of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Police
                                                                                          knowledge on diverse topics such as hydroponics,
                                                                                          ozone and even the many uses of lemon.
                                                                                          Investing in human capital
                                  Intelligence Department (PID). With these in mind,
                                                                                          A series of learning journeys and courses were
                                  PID launched a mega event for personnel of the
                                                                                          made available to staff during the festival. To instil
                                  SPF Intelligence System (SPFIS).
                                                                                          the value of taking responsibility for one’s
                                      The inaugural SPFIS Learning Festival was
                                                                                          learning, all staff were given Learning Dollars to
                                  officially kicked off by Director PID, Assistant
                                                                                          bid for what they were keen to attend.
                                  Commissioner (AC) T. Raja Kumar, on 14 January
                                                                                              Through the various programmes and activities
                                  2004. The festival lasted two and a half months.
                                                                                          of the Learning Festival, PID hoped to encourage
                                  The theme was “Life is a Learning Journey”.
c h a l l e n g e

                                                                                          staff to take the first step in the lifelong learning
                                  Hearing from experts                                    journey and to develop personal mastery. PID’s
                                  The festival opened with a symposium for all SPFIS      management is convinced that this investment
                                  personnel. Commissioner of Police, Mr Khoo Boon         in human capital will accelerate its progress
                                  Hui, was present to grace the occasion.                 towards achieving its vision of being “a world-
a p r i l

                                      In his opening address, AC Raja highlighted the     class criminal intelligence agency”.
0 4
 MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND SPORTS                                                                At The Ministries

                          e-Polling is coming
                          your way
                                                                                                              to be exported from
                                                                                                              the portal to an Excel
                                                                                                              spreadsheet. Users
                                                                                                              can then use the
                                                                                                              SPSS (Statistical
                                                                                                              Package for Social
                                                                                                              Sciences) software
                                                                                                              for further cross-
                                                                                                              tabulation          and
                                                                                                              detailed analysis.
                                                                                                              agencies are eagerly
                                                                                                              waiting to use the
                                                                                                              e-poll for online
                                                                                                              indicative polling.
                                                                                                               Enhancing the
                           Agencies will welcome this latest feature which enables them to conduct their       e-Consultation
                           own poll with ease and speed.
                                                                                                               Paper webpage
                                                                                                               New features have also
                          Last year, the Feedback Unit launched the              been added to the e-Consultation Paper webpage.
                          e-Consultation Paper webpage for all                   Agencies can now post several questions to obtain
                          government agencies to post policy papers              more information on the profile of feedback
                          online for feedback. It will launch the much-          contributors. They can also attach documents as
                          awaited e-poll feature in April/May 2004.              additional information supporting the issue being
                                                                                     For the feedback contributors, they can save their
       By Feedback Unit

                                   ave you ever thought of conducting your

                          H        own poll with ease and speed? If so,
                                   the e-poll feature of the Feedback
                          Unit’s Government Consultation Portal
                                                                                 incomplete write-ups as drafts and work on them
                                                                                 later. They can also email the paper to their friends.
                                                                                 This way, they will help to generate more feedback.
                          (www.feedback.gov.sg) may be just what you are             With such friendly channels available, public
                          looking for.                                           consultation is now a breeze. Come on board
                              The e-poll is one of several features being        the Government Consultation Portal at
                          added to the portal to enhance its value as a          www.feedback.gov.sg today!
                          consultation medium. In the works for about 10
                          months, the e-poll system is now in the final phase
                          of testing and will be launched soon. In “walking         MANY CONSULTATION CHANNELS
                          the talk”, the Feedback Unit sought feedback from         Singaporeans can choose from a variety of
                          the government agencies on what would make a
                                                                                    consultation channels available at the
                          user-friendly and effective e-poll facility.
                                                                                    Government Consultation Portal. Likewise,
                                           Benefits of e-poll
                                                                                    public agencies can ride on these channels
                               nt he       The e-poll is easy to use.
                    ation o
         re  inform              n          It is simple to upload and              to gather views and ideas from people.
For mo                sultatio
          r  the Con                         disseminate          poll
 e-poll o              dmund                                                        Indeed, this is what they have been doing.
               ntact E             r
  Po rtal, co        55 8  127) o             questionnaires, as well               Since the launch of the e-Consultation
            (Tel: 63         54 806
   Phang           Tel: 63
                                               as to gather and
     ictor S  eah (          o
                                                                                    Paper webpage last April, 15 agencies have
    V                   il t                    analyse the findings.
               an ema          ds.gov.
    or send          it@mc                        The e-poll system                 posted 51 policy papers on the webpage.
     feedba                                       allows the findings

                                               How MINDEF saves
                                               $100 million every year
                                                                                                    promoting ED in MINDEF:
                    By MINDEF ED Secretariat

                                                     he Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) Economy

                                               T     Drive (ED) movement started in 1976. Since
                                                     then we have been optimising the use of
                                               resources and minimising wastage through
                                                                                                    • Firstly, there is clear demonstration of
                                                                                                       commitment at the very top level of MINDEF.
                                                                                                       For example, the Minister of State for Defence
                                               innovation and technology.                              heads the committee which monitors the ED
                                                   A culture of cost consciousness within              efforts in MINDEF.
                                               MINDEF and the Singapore Armed Forces has been       • Secondly, MINDEF adopts a coordinated and
                                               built up over the years. We achieve savings of          cross-functional approach in planning and
                                               more than $100 million annually.                        implementing ED. This way, initiatives can be
                                                   The money is re-deployed to fund more critical      examined holistically. For example, the
                                               requirements. Some of the projects have had             feasibility and cost of the initiatives, as well as
                                               wide-reaching impact. Projects such as the              whether the initiatives will result in higher
                                               Indirect Seawater Cooling System and automatic          costs in other areas, are taken into
                                                                      switching devices have           consideration. MINDEF’s approach also
                                                                            been publicised in         facilitates “cross-fertilisation”. For example, ED
                                                                                     the local         initiatives that have proven to be successful
                                                                                      newspapers       in one department can be introduced to other
                                                                                      and during       departments.
                                                                                 our        PRIDE   • Thirdly, there is empowerment and accoun-
                                                                            (PRoductivity and          tability at the operating level in promoting and
                                                                             Innovation in Daily       implementing ED initiatives. While incentives
                                                                                                       encourage ground-level units/departments to
                                                                               Effort) Day.
                                                                                                       independently seek innovative ways to optimise
                                                                            Promoting ED               resources, these incentives will be awarded only
                                                                            There are three            after the ideas have been implemented and the
                                                                          main thrusts for             savings have been confirmed.

                                               Successful initiatives
                                                     INDEF shares three successful projects that    Cheaper way to dispose refuse
                                               M     have reaped significant savings:               Previously, the expenditure for refuse collection
                                                                                                    rose due to an increase in the number of refuse
                                               Improving productivity in tunnel
                                                                                                    bins used at various camps and the use of different
                                                                                                    bin sizes. To curb the rising costs, MINDEF officers
                                               To reduce the time taken for drilling when
                                                                                                    looked into using larger bins and reducing the
                                               MINDEF officers are conducting tunnel
                                                                                                    overall number of bins. As a result, MINDEF saves
                                               construction works, the water supply is now
                                                                                                    about $244,000 per annum.
                                               pumped directly from a nearby quarry pond.
                                               Previously, mobile water tankers were used to        Saving on maintenance works
                                               provide the necessary water supply for drilling.     MINDEF requires regular maintenance works such
c h a l l e n g e
c h a l l e n g e

                                                   With the change, the drilling time has been      as the cleaning of external compounds, grass cutting
                                               significantly reduced from 8 to 6 hours a day.       at non-critical areas and horticulture maintenance.
                                               This has greatly improved the overall work           By optimising the frequency of maintenance works
                                               processes and productivity in tunnel                 through process re-engineering and adopting
                                               construction, as well as enabled MINDEF to enjoy     cheaper alternatives, MINDEF now saves about
a p r i l
a p r i l

                                               savings totalling $8.3 million.                      $620,000 annually.
0 4
0 4
                                                                                                                    Innovation In Action

                                   A kickboxing librarian
By Nirmala Sakthi, TEC Executive

                                          he image of a librarian is stereotypically

                                                                                             revolution. He was part of the team that initiated
                                          someone bookish who wears thick glasses,           the famous library@orchard and introduced the
                                          dowdy clothes, has her hair in a bun and no        cafés in libraries concept in Singapore.
                                   life outside the library.                                     In addition, Gene
                                        But Mr Gene Tan from the National Library            was also the brain          AsPI is
                                                                                                                                  a revolu
                                   Board (NLB) breaks all myths, stereotypes and             behind the popular         dimensio            tionary,
                                                                                                                                   nal prog
                                   personas of a traditional librarian. He is the new        “Ask       Stupid          exposes              ramme th
                                                                                                                                 particip                 at
                                   age, cool and sleek librarian who innovates with          Questions”                informa             ants to
                                                                                                                                tion, an              varied to
                                                                                                                       experien          d visual                ols,
                                   passion, zeal and style. He is also a TEC (The            workshops that                     ces beyo              and sen
                                                                                                                                          nd their             sory
                                   Enterprise Challenge) Champion.                           have inspired            spheres.                        normal
                                                                                                                               The prog
                                                                                                                     stimulate            ramme
                                                                                             staff in over 20                   experien              aims to
                                   Aspiration Pathfinder                                                            creative               tial lear
                                                                                             organisations                    and inn                 ning of
                                   Reminiscing about his innovation journey which                                  cultivate           ovative
                                                                                             to innovate                      open an
                                   saw the development and launch of the TEC                                      and gen               d inquis
                                                                                                                                                   itive min
                                                                                             and think                      erate br                          ds
                                   sponsored Aspiration Pathfinder (AsPI) programme,                                                  eakthro
                                                                                                                                               ugh idea
                                   Gene says, “I wanted to change the world a little         creatively.                                                   s.
                                   bit, seriously! Being a ‘learn-by-rote’ student, I        Thriving on challenges
                                   felt very inadequate and craved for exposure to
                                                                                             As someone who derives energy from challenges,
                                   diverse perspectives outside my little world. So at
                                   an Innovation Masterclass, I toyed with combining         Gene fought hard to make people understand AsPI
                                   the travel experience with library services. The          and not to be terrified by it. Since AsPI makes
                                   result was a library programme that emulates the          people stray from what they know and learn not
                                   best travel experience — the kind that takes you          by rote but by experiences and interaction,
                                   to meet people and undergo experiences you don’t          Singaporeans were shell-shocked at first! So Gene
                                   usually encounter.”                                       adapted AsPI so that users can better understand
                                        In fact, this starry-eyed innovator has such a       the programme and accept it more readily.
                                   strong inclination for AsPI that he says, “AsPI is            AsPI is currently in the second phase of
                                   everything that I’ve ever believed in — anything          development. Gene’s biggest challenge now is
                                   less than that and it becomes work.”                      making it accessible to all without letting it
                                   An agent of change                                        become ordinary.
                                   Gene is a veteran public officer who joined the Public        Gene is grateful for the funding from TEC
                                   Service even before NLB was formed. True to his           which is also supporting the second phase of AsPI.
                                   radical nature, he quickly joined the lifestyle library   He looks upon the TEC Unit team as football
                                                                                             coaches nudging him forward and giving him a
                                                                                             big push when the going gets tough.
                                                                                                 Gene envisions that one day AsPI will become
                                                                                             a worldwide programme that will be talked about
                                                                                             and imparted as much as the “7 Habits of Highly
                                                                                             Effective People”. His team’s dream is to become
                                                                                             the “Creative Technology” of creativity and
                                                                                             innovation. And they’re in the process of planning
                                                                                             manuals, a book and even a gameshow!
                                     Gene striking a pose. Kickboxing at Orchard Road
                                     was part of the AsPI programme.                         TEC Champion
                                                                                             Gene received the TEC Champion Award at the
                                                                                             Global Entrepolis @ Singapore 2003. This award
                                                                                             is presented to public officers to recognise their
                                                                                             innovative and enterprising spirit.
                                                                                                 Gene is not only one of the new breed of
                                                                                             librarians but also an exemplary public officer who
                                                                                             truly lives his dreams. He has incorporated
                                                                                             everything he loves, from theatre to gameshows,
                                                                                             into his work. He explains, “Breaking down the
                                     Gene and his team gave the crowd at Global
                                     Entrepolis @ Singapore an innovative and
                                                                                             distinction between work, life and passion makes
                                     energising treat.                                       you feel like you are living, not working!”
Cover Story

                                                                                                                                   enco          ic ag
                                                                                                                                         urag          encie
                                                                                                                                  gain        ing t           s are
                                                                                                                                        new          heir
                                                                                                                                take          expe         staff

                                            A new outlook                                                                              up n         rie
                                                                                                                               this         ew c nces and
                                                                                                                                      cover        halle
                                                                                                                              abou          st           nges
                                                                                                                                     t MO ory, you . In
                                                                                                                             who          E an             will
                                                                                                                                   go o         d                re
                                                                                                                                         n wo BCA offic ad

                                            for teachers
                                                                                                                            stint              rk at           ers
                                                                                                                                  s in               tachm
                                                                                                                           and         the p
                                                                                                                                othe         ri              ent
                                                                                                                                      r pub vate sect
                                                                                                                                            lic ag         or

                                            Seventy-seven teachers were more than happy to                 enhance their pupils’ learning.
                                            work during their year-end school holidays last year.              The teachers can choose the
                                            But they did not spend their time in school. Instead,          organisations they wish to be attached to for one to
                                                                                                           four weeks. The attachments can be done locally or
                                            they were attached to over 30 organisations in both
                                                                                                           overseas, in either private or public sector organisations.
                                            the private and public sectors, such as banking,
                                                                                                           Teachers can apply for attachments during the school
                                            e-learning, IT, law, tourism and hospitality.                  holidays or term time.
                                                                                                               The teachers who participated have found the
                                                  he Ministry of Education (MOE) introduced the

                                                                                                           experience beneficial and have posted their
                                                  Teacher Work Attachment scheme to provide                reflections on the MOE Intranet. For a first-hand
                                                  opportunities for teachers to broaden their              account of two teachers’ experience, read the story
                                            experiences, enrich their teaching and ultimately              on the facing page.

                                            BCA officers taste life in the
                                            The Building and Construction Authority (BCA)                  structures and condominiums, as well as conducting
                                            started a programme that offers its officers a                 checks on the structural design of various schools.
                                            chance to experience a one-year stint in the private               She found her attachment experience helpful to
                                                                                                           her work. She explained: “My current duty at BCA is to
                                            sector. Two to three officers are selected each year
                                                                                                           inspect dangerous buildings and to approve periodical
                                            for attachment to consultant firms in the
                                                                                                           inspection reports. Through the attachment I gained a
                                            construction industry.                                         better understanding of various structural systems. I
                                                                                                           can now easily identify crucial structural elements and
                    By Leong Ee Leng, BCA

                                                   ooted by BCA’s CEO, the programme aims to
                                            M      expose the officers to industry practices and to
                                            give them a taste of private sector life. It also presents a
                                                                                                           hence assess whether the defects are serious and
                                                                                                           whether they will affect the overall stability of a
                                            chance for staff to broaden their experiences and boost
c h a l l e n g e
c h a l l e n g e

                                                                                                               She added, “The experience has also helped me to
                                            their overall development.                                     be more confident in making decisions regarding
                                            Gaining relevant lessons                                       structural issues.”
                                            Ms Irene Ho, an engineer, was glad for the opportunity         New perspectives, useful contacts
                                            to work in the private sector. During her attachment,          Another advantage of the programme is that the staff
a p r i l
a p r i l

                                            she was involved in designing underground MRT station          will learn to view the construction industry from more
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                                                                                                             Cover Story

Stints at DSTA and Shell
       r Thomas Low from Radin Mas Primary                          also had many positive
M     School had always wanted to know how private
organisations and statutory boards go about their business.
                                                                    things to say about his
                                                                    experience. He had
So when the Teacher Work Attachment scheme was launched,            wanted to learn about
he was the first in his school to sign up.                          operations             in
    He was attached to the Defence Science and Technology           a      multinational
Agency’s (DSTA) Plans Department for five days.                     corporation and was
    During his attachment, he learnt how Knowledge                  attached to Shell’s
                                                                                                    Yap Wai Meng
Management (KM) can enhance an organisation’s                       Human Resource
competitiveness. When the new school term started, he               Department for a week.
eagerly applied what he had learnt to his work.                          During his stint, he gained insights into how
    He said, “I have since incorporated two KM initiatives into     the company goes about recruiting staff. He noted
my teaching methodology. Firstly, I tried to build a culture of     that when assessing candidates, the company
sharing and collaboration by getting my students to post            paid much attention to each candidate’s
                      resources online so that everyone can         accomplishments, traits and abilities beyond what
                      access the materials from home as long        their academic track record might state.
                      as he/she has a computer and Internet              He actively shares what he observed with
                      connection.                                   his students. “I talk to students every now and
                          “I also introduced a tea session during   then about working life and what they are going
                      which my pupils and I discuss current         to do after their ‘A’ levels,” he said. “I try to point
                      affairs over food, drink and classical        out that although academic performance is
  Thomas Low          music. It is very much like a working high-   important, it is also important to lead a balanced
                      tea session.”                                 life with CCA involvement and other experiences
    Sharing how the attachment experience had impacted              that may be invaluable one day in the
him on a personal level, he said, “Now I tend to look at things     working world.”
from a broader perspective. When faced with a problem, I                 Mr Yap has also
would look at it from multiple angles. The experience has           incorporated a case
developed my critical thinking skills to a large extent.”           study on Shell in his
    Mr Yap Wai Meng, an Anderson Junior College teacher,            geography lessons.

private sector
                                                                  Moreover, engineers will not only gain practical
                                                              design experience in building engineering but also
                                                              establish a good industry network and learn about
                                                              the latest developments in the construction industry.
                                                              Upon completing their attachment, they will be in a
                                                              better position to help recommend policies and
                                                              resolve issues in the industry with their new
                                                                  Said Senior Development Officer Jeffery Neng,
                                                              “We are able to network with various industry players
                                                              like architects, project managers, contractors and
                                                              even construction-related authorities such as the
  BCA officers are enriched by their work
  attachment experience.                                      National Environment Agency. Such exposure has
                                                              definitely helped me in understanding the industry
angles and can then provide fresh perspectives for BCA.       better and in working towards achieving BCA’s vision
The experience will enable them to understand the             to develop an advanced and competitive construction
practices and problems faced by the private sector.           industry.”
At Your Service

                                                        Transforming Quality
                                                        Circles in CGH                                                                       ing a          a
                                                                                                                                                                g am
                                                                                                                                                          arnin ng
                                                                                                                                                   nd le n bri

                                                                                                                                        Shar sations c s. Thank
                                                                                                                                            gani od resul
                    By Quality Management Office, CGH

                                                                hangi General Hospital (CGH) introduced          working on Quick        or

                                                        C       a new Quality Circle (QC) system and
                                                                structure in 2003 to enhance its existing
                                                        QC structure. With the change, staff can choose
                                                                                                                 and In-House
                                                                                                                 projects are only
                                                                                                                 required to complete
                                                                                                                                                t go
                                                                                                                                          abou Housing
                                                                                                                                           to th
                                                                                                                                              evelo s inpu
                                                                                                                                              gene rmed its
                                                                                                                                                            t Boa
                                                                                                                                                       men ts, CGH h
                                                                                                                                                                  Qual ture.
                                                        from three types of projects instead of just one.        a 4- to 6-page report,              sfo         and
                                                                                                                                               tran       ystem
                                                        Two new project types — Quick and In-House               as compared to NQCC            Cir cle s
                                                        projects — have been added.                              (National QC Carnival)
                                                            The report templates for the two new categories      project reports which
                                                        of projects are much simpler. For instance, staff        are 15 pages long (see table for more details).
                                                                                                                     The main purpose of adopting the new
                                                           OUR VISION                                            framework is to encourage a higher level of staff
                                                           A hospital recognised by patients and staff           participation, and to allow staff to effectively focus
                                                                                                                 on doing the projects without having to spend too
                                                           for excellence and compassion in service
                                                                                                                 much time writing the reports. The flexibility of
                                                           and care.
                                                                                                                 the framework also allows staff to inject creativity
                                                           OUR MISSION                                           and innovation into their projects. Presentations
                                                           • We are dedicated to improving the health            at the In-House Forum can be in any creative
                                                             of the community in the east.                       form, including skits, PowerPoint presentations,
                                                           • We will accomplish this through
                                                                                                                 exhibiting the actual product and singing.
                                                                                                                     A staff who joined a QC for the first time said, “I
                                                             cooperation with other caregivers, to
                                                                                                                 find the Quick and In-House templates simpler to
                                                             provide quality healthcare that is
                                                                                                                 use compared to the NQCC one. It is faster to
                                                             integrated, accessible, affordable and              implement and is more effective in helping our
                                                             appropriate to the community’s needs                team to solve problems.”
                                                           • We value and recognise the contribution                 In 2003, CGH completed 18 Quick and In-
                                                             of every staff and foster a culture of              House projects. This was a commendable effort,
                                                             innovation and lifelong learning.
                                                                                                                 given that the staff had to deal with SARS (Severe
                                                                                                                 Acute Respiratory Syndrome) last year.
                                                           OUR QUALITY VISION                                        The new QC system comes with a new set of
                                                           To provide a level of patient care and                rewards. Staff are given credits based on the type
                                                           services good enough for our own mothers              of project and the award achieved. The
                                                           without the need for special arrangements.            credits accumulated can be exchanged for
                                                                                                                 attractive prizes.

                                                                       Maximum         Report         Timeframe      Approval for           Presentation
                                                                       number of       length                        implementation

                                                           Quick                                                           HOD
                                                                            5          4 pages        3 months       (Administrator’s                   -
                                                                                                                        approval is
                                                                                                                     necessary when            In-House Forum
                                                                            8          6 pages        6-9 months       cost exceeds             (with option of
c h a l l e n g e

                                                                                                                         $2,000)             presenting at NQCC)

                                                           NQCC             8         15 pages        6-9 months        Division            NQCC and/or national
                                                           project                                                    Administrator            convention
a p r i l

                                                        * The number of members includes the leader but not the facilitator.
0 4
                                                                                          At Your Service

Safer trolleys for all
        hen two nurses injured their toes while                                          few       conceptual
W       manoeuvring a patient trolley, a team
called the “Special Action Squad” (SAS) embarked
                                                                                         drawings. Next they
                                                                                         approached a local
on a mission to make patient trolleys safer for                                          welding company for
staff at Changi General Hospital.                                                        help to fabricate a
                                  Upon initial inves-        Now: The trolleys are       safety       bracket
                              tigation, SAS found            being fitted with safety    protector for placing
                                                             bracket protectors.
                              that the wheels                                            over the castors. Then
                              (castors) on the pa-        a trial was conducted. From there, the team modified
                              tient trolleys were in      their drawings based on users’ feedback.
  Before: Staff can easily    good condition. And              The project was presented during the In-
  get injured when            according to the            House Forum on 2 December 2003. Even after
  moving a trolley.           manufacturer, there         that, the team members continued their relentless
was no safety feature to prevent the type of acci-        pursuit of quality improvement by looking into
dent that injured the two nurses.                         design enhancements.
    However, SAS persisted in finding a solution.              Presently, SAS is carrying out the first phase
Using the In-House project template, the team             of implementation. The team looks forward to
was able to come up with an efficient and practical       introducing the enhancements to the rest of the
solution.                                                 trolleys in the coming months. They will also be
    The members first brainstormed and developed a        starting on a new Quick project soon!

Changing sheets is                                                                                   Othe
                                                                                                   have hospita

now a breeze                                                                                      inte
                                                                                                       rest n
                                                                                                      inno adopt
  n line with Changi General Hospital’s (CGH)
I quality vision to “provide a level of patient care
and services good enough for our own mothers”, a
                                                          considerable amount of the linen
                                                          attendants’ time.
                                                          An effective solution
Quality Circle team called “SPARKS” developed an
                                                          SPARKS proposed using envelope bedsheets
innovation using the In-House project template.
                                                                                           instead         and
The problem with garters                                                                   implemented a
The team members, who are from the                                                         trial in six wards.
Housekeeping Department, found that the garters                                                The team found
of bedsheets tend to lose their elasticity after                                           that as the flap
several washing cycles. When that happens, the                                             of the envelope
bedsheets will either roll to the centre of the beds                                       bedsheet is deep,
                                                            Now: The envelope
or come off the mattresses when the beds are                bedsheet fits mattresses       the bedsheet holds
raised, causing discomfort to the patients.                 nicely.                        the mattress well.
     As the mattress sizes differ, the bedsheets may      Such bedsheets are also more presentable and
                               not fit them neatly.       comfortable. And as they are flat, folding and
                               The bedsheets also         packing them is easier and neater.
                               tend to crease even            The envelope bedsheets will be implemented
                               after ironing due to the   in phases in all wards, starting from the subsidised
                               gathers around the         wards.
                               garters.                       Even after presenting the project at the In-
                                    Furthermore,          House Forum, SPARKS’ members continue in their
  Before: The mattress is      changing loose garters     innovation improvement. They are currently finding
  visible and the bedsheet
  can easily come off when
                               is a tedious process       ways to make it easier for staff to change the
  the bed is raised.           that can take up a         bedsheets of bedridden patients.
At Your Service

                                                   SNEC introduces
                                                   two e-newsletters
                                                                                                                  The newsletter aims to strengthen service quality
                                                                                                             awareness and provide customer service tips. Readers
                                                                                                             are encouraged to share what they learn during their
                                                                                                             regular sharing sessions with staff, so as to facilitate
                                                                                                             the transfer of knowledge. Staff are welcome to share
                                                                                                             articles on best practices they come across.
                                                                                                                  Said Ms Iris Wee, Quality Service Executive,
                                                                                                             “It’s a good way to keep ourselves updated on
                                                                                                             ‘what’s in the market’. It is also a good platform for
                                                                                                             sharing best practices.”
                                                                                                                  There are plans to have E-Flash uploaded onto
                                                                                                             SNEC’s Intranet so that everyone in SingHealth
                                                                                                             can benefit from it.
                                                                                                             SNEC F.A.C.E.
                                                                                                             This monthly newsletter is made available to all
                                                                                                             staff via SNEC’s Intranet. It provides a quick
                                                                                                             analysis of the compliments received and
                                                     SNEC F.A.C.E. recognises staff for delivering           recognises SNEC staff who have received accolades
                                                     excellent service to patients.                          from the public for their display of care, concern
                                                                                                             and professionalism when attending to patients.
                    By SNEC Quality Service Team

                                                          he Singapore National Eye Centre’s (SNEC)

                                                   T      Quality Service Department has introduced
                                                          two e-newsletters that focus on service.
                                                   E-Flash is about best practices and customer
                                                                                                                 The name of the newsletter reflects the
                                                                                                             organisation’s drive to encourage every staff to be
                                                                                                             a “SNEC F.A.C.E.” (Friendly, Anticipates and acts
                                                                                                             on needs, Customer-oriented, Empathy).
                                                   service tips, while SNEC F.A.C.E. recognises staff
                                                                                                                 Said Ms Susan Tan, Quality Service Secretary,
                                                   for rendering excellent service to patients.
                                                                                                             “The newsletter is definitely a morale booster for
                                                   E-Flash                                                   our team of service providers as their hard work is
                                                   E-Flash is circulated to all heads of departments         recognised by our patients.”
                                                   and key staff monthly via email. It leverages on IT           The newsletter also provides a point of reference
                                                   to provide quick and useful data to enable staff to       for the Department when it comes to recom-
                                                   be proactive in delivering quality service to patients.   mending staff for the Excellent Service Award.

                                                   It is attitude that counts
                                                   In the March issue of E-Flash, readers were                    The most important “attitude” lesson:
                                                   encouraged to take ownership and adopt a                  Customers can detect a negative or condescending
                                                   positive attitude when going about their work.            attitude in a split second!
                                                   Here are some excerpts you may find helpful.                   Good customer service providers recognise that
                                                                                                             customers respond most comfortably to a friendly,
                                                        ustomer service providers must recognise             open-minded attitude. They respond to the use of
c h a l l e n g e
c h a l l e n g e

                                                        that their attitude is extremely easy to detect      their names. They want you to look them in the eye.
                                                   and misinterpret.                                         They want you to listen to their needs and concerns.
                                                        What is “attitude”? It is the image you project           If you project another attitude (even
                                                   to the world. It is your outlook, your mood, and          unintentionally), there is a huge chance that you
                                                   your perceptions and prejudices. You project an           will alienate, irritate or simply “turn off” a customer.
a p r i l
a p r i l

                                                   attitude using your body language and tone of voice.           Happy employees create happy customers.
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                                                                                                                      Just Do Wit

            Keeping troops safe
            from lightning strikes
                                                                             To address this problem, a WIT called Rangers
                                                                        from the Army came up with a new design for the
                                                                        PROWs called the Lightning Protection System
                                                                        (LPS). The new system utilises the concept of the
                                    safety zone                         “Faraday Cage” to protect soldiers in the PROWs
                                                                        from the effects of lightning strikes.
                                                                             The LPS consists of two bonding cables and
                                                                        a series of interconnected wire mesh. The
              Soldiers standing inside this PROW are safe in            special bonding cables connect the zinc roof
              stormy weather.
                                                                        and PROW mesh to the 10 cm by 10 cm wire
                                                                        mesh on the floor. The system is designed to

                   renches and protection walls (PROWs) are

            T      built for defence exercises and for securing
                   key installations against terrorist threats.
            They are deployed in the open and exposed to lightning
                                                                        allow electric current to dissipate and flow to
                                                                        the earth freely, thus protecting the soldiers
                                                                        standing inside the PROW.
                                                                             With the LPS, the soldiers can still
            strikes. Hence during rainy weather, troops have to
            be evacuated to safe shelters to avoid lightning strikes.   be deployed in the                                      n
                                                                                                                       ge is a      tely of
                                                                                                               day Ca
                 When troops have to vacate their trenches              trenches during rainy          A Fara               comple
                                                                                                                 re made               This
                                                                        weather without com-           enclosu                mesh.
            during serious lightning situations, their
                                                                                                                or m  etallic         cts as
                                                                        promising their safety. The     metal                 sure a
            operational effectiveness as well as the realism                                                      tin g enclo           ld to
                                                                                                         conduc                tic shie
            of the training are affected. This could seriously          morale and confidence
                                                                                                                   tro magne             from
                                                                                                          an elec              nclosed s.
            impact the confidence of our commanders and                 of the troops have improved                  w hat’s e          rent
                                                                                                           protect             tric cur
            men who may view that our training and                      as the soldiers are certain                  rn al elec
                                                                                                            all exte
            operations are not realistic. Valuable training time        about their safety during
            is also lost in the process.                                training and operations.

            Navy WIT’s
               he Mine Clearance Diving Teams (MDT) are
            T  tasked to recover underwater targets during
            and after exercises. Previously, the divers                     To address these problems, a WIT called Diversonic
            encountered many difficulties:                              designed a remote lifting actuation system.
            • The diver faced difficulty in bringing down                   Now the diver only needs to send down a
               the MK 5 lifting bag as the trapped air in the           coupling pin to connect to the target object. The
               bag would cause it to float up.                          bag is then remotely pulled down by the sea boat.
            • There was additional drag on the MK 5 bag                 Another coupling pin will be guided down and
               caused by underwater currents.                           inserted into the first coupling pin. When the two
            • An additional diver was required to assist in             pins connect, the remote actuation system will
               pulling down the MK 5 bag.                               activate the actuator and inflate the MK 5 lifting
            • The process could take a long time and prolong            bag to lift the target.
               the whole operation.                                         This project has enhanced the capability of the
            • Too many unnecessary movements                            diving teams. It has also brought tremendous
               underwater can endanger the diver while he               satisfaction to the team and motivated them to
               is connecting the MK 5 lifting bag to the                innovate further. The Ministry of Defence now enjoys
               underwater target.                                       $157,000 in savings per year from this project.
                                                               Staff Matters

                                                          Effective workplace
                                                          health promotion
                    By Fiona Soh, Workplace Health, HPB

                                                                  he Health Promotion Board’s (HPB)                    “These health needs For mo

                                                          T      curriculum for workplace health promotion relate to organisational workplac formation o
                                                                 was revised in 2002. Now more stress levels, individual
                                                          comprehensive and flexible, the curriculum cholesterol levels,
                                                                                                                                                and th
                                                                                                                                                            re in
                                                                                                                                                             e heal
                                                                                                                                                         ng, th
                                                                                                                                                                    th pro
                                                                                                                                                                e Wor      motio
                                                                                                                                                                 tion G

                                                          emphasises customising tools and techniques for hypertension levels                           e Sing          rant
                                                                                                                                               Award           apore
                                                          implementing effective corporate health and other health                                    , call           H.E.A
                                                                                                                                              6435            Rena           .L.T.H
                                                                                                                                                                    a               .
                                                          programmes.                                              issues that might be HP 3704 or em t
                                                                                                                                                B_Hea              ail to
                                                               A panel of specialists in the field was involved draining            the                lth_At
                                                          in reviewing workplace health training strategies. medical budget of                                            .gov.sg
                                                          Using a step-by-step resource, Essential Guide the company.… Companies
                                                          to Workplace Health Promotion, they revised can customise programmes to meet
                                                          the curriculum by
                                                          introducing          and
                                                          packaging different
                                                          modules to ensure
                                                                                           Companies can customise programmes to meet
                                                          relevance            and         organisational and employee needs. — Ms Mabel
                                                          effectiveness.                   Chia-Yarrall, Manager of Workplace Health Promotion
                                                               The curriculum              Programme
                                                          emphasises equipping
                                                          companies           with
                                                          evaluation tools so that
                                                          companies are more able to track the outcomes organisational and employee needs,” she said.
                                                          of their programmes. As the marketing gurus say:
                                                                                                                   Reaping the benefits
                                                          “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.”
                                                                                                                   Many companies have benefited from the training
                                                          A systematic, comprehensive approach                     provided by HPB.
                                                          “Very often, companies seem to think of health               Said Ms Sharon Pereira, Manager of Quality,
                                                          needs assessment as simply an interest survey — Environment, Health and Safety Department,
                                                          measuring what employees want,” said Ms Mabel Philips Electronics Singapore Pte Ltd, “Prior to
                                                          Chia-Yarrall, Manager of the Workplace Health attending the training programme offered by HPB,
                                                          Promotion Programme.                                     I thought that healthier workplaces meant more
                                                               While that is somewhat true, what she sports and games.”
                                                          advocates is a comprehensive health needs                    She had also wondered how to improve Philips’
                                                          assessment. This includes looking at corporate H.E.A.L.T.H. Award status. She now knows more
                                                          health screening and fitness assessment results, and Philips will be using the funds from the
                                                          as well as conducting organisational climate Workplace Health Promotion Grant to colour-code
                                                          surveys to see if there are health needs that can canteen food, promote vegetables and engage
                                                          be benchmarked against national standards.               caterers who can offer healthier food.
                                                                                                                       “The training has provided us with a clear
                                                                                                                   direction for strategising our workplace health
                                                                                                                   promotion programmes,” said Ms Pereira. “We are
                                                                                                                   no longer second guessing what makes a Gold
                                                                                                                   H.E.A.L.T.H. Award programme.”
                                                                                                                       Having gone through the training, OCBC
c h a l l e n g e

                                                                                                                   Property Services’ IT Manager Wilfred Foo was
                                                                                                                   “convinced of the urgency of promoting health”.
                                                                                                                   His company was concerned about containing
                                                                                                                   stress levels effectively and now he has an idea of
                                                                                                                   how to do so in an integrated and systematic
a p r i l

                                                            HPB provides training to promote healthier workplaces. manner.
0 4
                                                                                  Staff Matters

               SAF Smoking
               Cessation Programme

                 he Singapore

               T Armed Forces
                 (SAF) ensures
         that all servicemen
         who smoke go through
         a comprehensive
         process where they
         receive             health
         education, counselling
         and         supervision
         throughout the entire
         duration of their active
         service. This is to
         continually motivate
         them to quit smoking.
              The SAF Smoking
         Control Programme
                                          A smokerlyser is used to detect if a serviceman has reduced smoking.
         consists of three main
         • identification of smokers                                 voluntary. Unit commanders and medical officers
         • supervision and counselling (including referral have been asked to actively encourage smokers
              to the Smoking Cessation Clinic)                       to attend the sessions.
         • health education                                              Dedicated para-counsellors give the
                                                                     servicemen who attend the Smoking Cessation
                             irs the                                 Clinic personalised attention and advice on how
                atly impa                medical review
Sm  oking gre                                                        to stop smoking. There is regular follow-up and
                  ess and                During the medical
ph  ysical fitn           r sold iers.                               the smokers are encouraged to gradually cut
              nce of ou                   check-up,          the
 performa               to severe
                                   ,                                 down and eventually quit smoking.
               o lead                     medical       officer
 It can als             ting dise
               debilita                    enquires about the Nicotine Replacement Therapy
  chronic,                   tructive
                 ronic obs
   s uch as ch               emic  heart    smoking habits of all Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) is generally
                  se, ischa
    lu ng disea                              pre-enlistees and safe and has been shown to significantly improve
                   d stroke.
     d isease an                             records this in cessation rates. Nicotinell patches may be
                                             the servicemen’s recommended by SAF para-counsellors to smokers
                     electronic medical record (PACES).              with high nicotine dependence. These patches
                                                                     help smokers who use them after quitting smoking
         Interviews by supervisor
                                                                     to reduce their withdrawal symptoms.
         All servicemen are interviewed by their supervisor              If NRT is recommended by the para-
         every three months. During the interviews, the counsellors and the officer agrees to going on it,
         supervisor has to ascertain the smoking status of the medical officer will interview the officer before
         all the servicemen under his charge.                        prescribing it.
              The supervisor provides every identified smoker
         with a Smoker Interview Card, which is kept in the Positive results
         serviceman’s interview booklet.                             The results of SAF’s Smoking Cessation Programme
                                                                     are comparable with studies from the US that show
              The supervisor also educates the servicemen on
                                                                     an average success rate of about 8% to 10%
         the adverse health effects of smoking and encourages
                                                                     without NRT.
         him to attend the Smoking Cessation Clinic.
                                                                         For long-term success, personal motivation is
         Smoking Cessation Clinic and para-counsellors               extremely important. With encouragement and
         The Smoking Cessation Clinic was introduced as motivation from commanders, doctors and peers,
         a trial in June 2003. Attendance is strictly our servicemen who smoke can kick the habit.
                            A Day In The Life Of A Public Officer

                       Animals is
                       her pet topic
                       Do you know that cats and dogs can live up               contents to cater to the
                       to 20 years? A terrapin’s lifespan is even               particular needs of schools.
                       longer — over 20 years. Koi fish can live past               Facing a restless and
                       40 and some birds can even live till 70!                 sometimes rowdy crowd of
                       However, not all pet owners are prepared for             1,000 to 2,000 students
                       such a long-term commitment. As a result,                during assembly time
                                                                                can be very challenging.
                       many pets are abandoned every year. Sherry
                                                                                Sherry has to continually
                       Nee, Senior Animal Welfare Education Officer
                                                                                find new and creative
                       at the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority
                                                                                ways to capture the
                       (AVA), wants people to realise the                       students’ attention.
                       responsibilities that come with keeping pets.                To further promote pet education, Sherry set
                                                                                up a website (www.ava.gov.sg/aweb) that offers
                                    hile pets can be beneficial to people,

                       W            not everyone is suited to be a pet
                                    owner, said Sherry. Besides being
                       prepared to spend money on food, training,
                                                                                plenty of information and useful resources. She
                                                                                expanded the library at CAWC by acquiring books,
                                                                                videos and overseas magazines. She also picked
                                                                                up desktop publishing on her own, and wrote and
                       grooming, regular check-ups and vaccinations,            designed brochures, flyers and a children’s book
                       pet owners must also provide adequate space, love,       which are all available online.
                       attention and long-term care for their pets.
                           Many owners buy pets when they are young             For love of animals
                       and look small and cute. But when the animals            Animals have always had a special place in Sherry’s
                       grow bigger, some owners get tired of them and           heart. She explained, “Animals are innocent. They
                       throw them away, oblivious to the consequences.          don’t scheme or make plans to harm you. Their
                           For example, some people release terrapins into      thoughts are very simple. They are consistent —
                       ponds. This upsets the ecology in the ponds.             they won’t love you one day and hate you another
                       Moreover, the terrapins, which are not used to           day. They are not fickle, like humans. You can talk
                       finding food for themselves, may not survive long        to them and you feel that you have a friend — one
                       in the wild. As for abandoned dogs, they risk falling    that doesn’t criticise or lecture you.”
                       sick and being knocked down by cars. If the animals           Sadly, in the course of her work, she often
                                                                                encounters people with various misconceptions.
                       do not find new homes, they will be put down.
                                                                                     She said, “When I show children a picture of
                       Pet talks and more                                       an abandoned and abused dog and ask them if it
                       Sherry’s role is to educate members of the public,       will find a new home, they’ll say ‘Yes’. And when
                       especially students, on pets. She gives talks at         I ask them if their pet will find a new home if they
                       schools and during events and exhibitions. She           don’t want it any more, they’ll say ‘Yes. It costs
                       also hosts visits to the Centre for Animal Welfare       money you know, someone else will want it.’”
                       and Control (CAWC) where participants can get a               Moreover, some adults contribute to the
                       chance to handle cats, hamsters, gerbils and             problem of abandonment by breeding their pets
                       guinea pigs.                                             to sell to pet shops or just for the experience.
                           Since joining AVA in 2001, Sherry has given          Sherry said, “Unfortunately, their pet’s offspring
                       around 250 talks to students on many topics              are not guaranteed good homes or they may
                       including stray animals, the different types of pet      deprive those pets which need good homes.
                       animals, how to handle pets and being a responsible           “Also, parents influence how their children treat
c h a l l e n g e

                                                     pet owner. The talks are   animals. If parents do not have respect for animals,
                      For poste
                                 rs, work             customised          for   it’s very likely that their children will not too.”
                      brochure              sheets,
                                s, article            audiences ranging from         While mindsets take time to change, Sherry
                     and info              s
                               rmation               kindergarten children to   hopes her efforts will eventually drive home the
                     AVA’s pe            on
                              t educati
                    program             on          tertiary students. Sherry   message that animals have feelings too and
a p r i l

                             mes, ch
                    www.av             eck out      will also develop the       deserve our care and respect.
0 4
                                             Healthy Body, Active Mind

Screening for breast
cancer starts with you
        reast cancer remains the most common

B       cancer among Singaporean women today.
        About two women are diagnosed with
breast cancer every day, and about 250 women
die from breast cancer every year.
    One in 20 women in Singapore has a chance
of getting breast cancer in her lifetime, and her
chance increases if:
• She is older than 40 years old.
• She has a close relative (mother, sister or
    daughter) who has breast or ovarian cancer.
Detection and treatment
Breast cancer, if detected and treated early, can
be cured. This is how you can beat it:
• Do regular breast self-examination and go for
    regular mammography.
• Know the signs of breast cancer and see a
    doctor if you notice a change in your breasts.
                                                         All women 30 years and above should do BSE
         Mammography                                 regularly — once a month, about one week after a
           A mammography is a simple                 period when the breasts are less tender and lumpy.
             examination of the breast using         Menopausal women should choose a fixed
              low-dose X-ray. It can detect          monthly date for their BSE.
               cancerous lumps in the breast
                                                     BreastScreen Singapore
               that are too small to be felt by
                                                     This is a national breast screening programme run
               the hand. In this way, it is
                                                     by the Health Promotion Board which encourages
               possible for the cancer to be
                                                     women aged 40 years and above to go for regular
             detected early and removed
                                                     mammography. Women 40 years and above will
              completely to save the breast.
                                                     receive invitation letters to go for mammography.
                    Breast Self-Examination          Once enrolled in the programme, women will
                      (BSE)                          receive reminder letters for the next routine
                        Breast cancer may            mammography.
                         develop in the interval         Mammography services are available at
                           period     between        hospitals, private X-ray centres and selected
                             mammographic            polyclinics.
                             screenings. It is           Go for regular mammography. It can save your
                             important to do BSE     breast and your life!
                             during the interval         For more details, call BreastScreen Singapore
                             period.                 at 1800-333 3030 or visit www.hpb.gov.sg.

                           Age 30 – 39 years         Age 40 – 49 years       Age 50 years & above

 Do breast self-
 examination (BSE)

 Go for
 mammography                                           (once a year)          (once every 2 years)
CHALLENGEQUIZ                                          april           2004

                                                                                    to March 2004 Quiz
                                                                                    1   Name the award that
                                                                                        Nanyang Polytechnic won for
                                                                                        successfully automating its
                                                                                        business processes.
                                                                                        Intelligent20 Award 2003
                                                                                    2. What does “DEWS” stand for?
                                                                                       Drowning Early Warning
                                                                                    3. From which website can you
                                                                                       get access to IM7?
                                                                                       Government Intranet/
 Answer the following questions on the contents of
                                                                                    4. Answer “true” or “false” to
 this issue of Challenge:                                                              this statement: At
                                                                                       factory units are put up for
 1.     Name the password for accessing and using all                                  bidding 24 hours a day, 7
                                                                                       days a week. True
        public services online.
                                                                                    5. Volunteers from which
                                                                                       ministry spent a meaningful
 2.     Name the TEC Champion from NLB.                                                day with children from needy
                                                                                       families? Ministry of National
 3.     How many teachers signed up for MOE’s
        Teacher Work Attachment scheme last year?                                   WINNERS
                                                                                    of March 2004 Quiz
 4.     Which SNEC e-newsletter recognises staff for                                1. Loo Kim Chwee, LTA
        delivering excellent service to patients?                                   2. Lee Wei Chin, PUB
                                                                                    3. Krishnan Gurusamy, CPF
 5.     What is the average number of women who are                                 4. Kumutha Muthu, Temasek Poly
        diagnosed with breast cancer every day?
                                                                                    5. Zaidah Bte Ahmad, HPB
                                                                                    6. Sim Siew Hong, Customs
                                                                                    7. Tay Poh Choo, SLA
                                                                                    8. Patricia Chua Lieu Soo, IDA
                                                                                    9. Samuel Chew, AGD
 Send your entries to PS21 Office, 29 Heng Mui Keng Terrace, Singapore 119620       10. Ong Ah Seng, RCB
 by 7 May 2004. Email us at psd_ps21@psd.gov.sg or fax to 6775 3461.
 Give your name, ministry, ministry address and phone number. The first 10
                                                                                    Congratulations to the winners,
 correct entries drawn will receive a token of appreciation from the PS21 Office.   who will each receive a prize.

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