Singapore observes inaugural Drug Victims Remembrance Day

On 17 May 2024, Mr K. Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, led the observance of the inaugural Drug Victims Remembrance Day at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza.

At the event were Mr. Heng Chee How, Senior Minister of State for Defence; Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development; Ms. Gan Siow Huang, Minister of State for the Ministry of Education & Ministry of Manpower; Mr. Alvin Tan, Minister of State for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Trade and Industry; Ms Rahayu Mahzam, Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Health; and Mr Eric Chua, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth & Ministry of Social and Family Development, who are members of the Inter-Ministry Committee (IMC) on Drug Prevention for Youths.

Mr Zainol Adi Bin Haji Ajmain, Acting Deputy Director of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Brunei Darussalam; Mr Mohd Wendy, Acting Assistant Director, Preventive Drug Education of the NCB, Brunei Darussalam, and Mr Tan Chong Huat, Chairman of the National Council Against Drug Abuse, were in attendance as well.

The Drug Victims Remembrance Day will henceforth be observed on the third Friday of May each year. On this day we are reminded that the harms of drugs are far-reaching, that families and loved ones of drug abusers, in particular the children, and the drug abusers themselves suffer, and that they deserve our support.

Through collective observance of this special day, we stand together as a community for a strong and robust response to the drug problem that Singapore and other communities worldwide face.

Through public education and community engagements held in conjunction with Drug Victims Remembrance Day, the Inter-Ministry Committee on Drug Prevention for Youths aims to foster empathy, understanding, and support for friends and families of loved ones grappling with drug abuse, to bring across starkly these realities faced by individuals and families who have suffered from drug abuse.

At the Drug Victims Remembrance Day exhibition that took place from 17 to 19 May at the Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza, visitors were brought on an immersive and thought-provoking journey, ranging from a life-sized mock-up of a home grappling with the effects of drug abuse to multisensory, interactive displays that fostered awareness and self-reflection on the global and local drug situation and the repercussions of drugs on the family and society. 

Visitors witnessed first-hand the toll that drug abuse takes on homes and hearts, and learned how to protect themselves and their families.

There was also a candlelight display at the exhibition to remember the victims of drug abuse, not only from Singapore but from all over the world – the World Health Organization reports a staggering 600,000 lives lost to drug abuse in 2019 alone, and each candle symbolises a thousand lives lost annually.

To date, there have been more than 84,515 pledges made online and during the event – in a commitment to keep our communities safe from drug abuse.

On 18 May, visitors also had the chance to engage with former drug abuser, Bruce Mathieu, and friend of former drug abusers, Tommy Wong, through a panel session moderated by local artistes, Annette Lee and Glenn Yong.

Through their candid testimonies, visitors gained a deeper understanding of the harm and hurt that drug abuse had caused them and their loved ones.

The exhibition will subsequently make its way across the heartlands of Singapore, extending its reach throughout the community from 24 May to 21 July 2024.

The roving exhibition will also include a Sensorial Drug Panel where visitors can see the physical forms of various substances, including real cannabis exhibits, and learn to identify them to better protect themselves and their loved ones.

The public is encouraged to memorialise their commitment to keeping themselves, families and communities safe from drug abuse by visiting the roving exhibition and submitting pledges to stay drug-free on-site.

For those who are not present physically, they can make promises online at and have their resolve etched digitally onto the pledge wall.

Your commitment matters – together, we can spread awareness and rally support to protect our community from the detrimental harms of drugs that extend beyond the abuser, and to show solidarity in our fight against drugs.



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