S’pore Nurses May Be Able To Wear Tudung Soon, Government Will Announce Decision: Shanmugam

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Nurses Likely Able To Wear Tudung With Uniform Soon: K Shanmugam

The tudung in Singapore’s uniformed services has been a long-standing debate topic most recently discussed in Parliament under much scrutiny.

While many interpreted Ministers Masagos’ and Maliki’s responses as a stagnation of progress, Law Minister K Shanmugam stepped up yesterday (23 Mar) to clarify otherwise.

Declaring that change will likely happen soon, he hinted on a possible Government announcement that will confirm this.

Government’s stance on tudung for nurses discussed in Aug 2020

Speaking at a dialogue with Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) members on Tuesday (23 Mar), Mr Shanmugam shared that he had discussed the matter with religious leaders on 31 Aug 2020.

He stated the Government’s view that there are “good reasons” for nurses to be allowed to wear the tudung, and that “there is likely to be a change”.


But before making any announcements, he had to first consult with various community leaders.

Therefore, the statement he gave them was rather candid, as he explained that they needed to be careful when discussing it publicly.

Shanmugam clarifies recent Parliamentary responses

On the issue of the Parliamentary responses on 8 Mar, Mr Shanmugam said that there may have been a misunderstanding.

Ministers Masagos and Maliki had reiterated the Government’s ongoing consideration of the matter. Instead of flexibility, many reportedly took their answers as a “no”.

But Mr Shanmugam assured that his Aug 2020 statement is the “clearest indication” of the Government’s position.

Discussion likely to go on for a few more months

Meetings with community leaders are apparently ongoing, with PM Lee likely to join in soon.

Mr Shanmugam estimates that this will likely take a few months, after which the Government will announce its decision.

In response to the update, former MP Amrin Amin expressed his support via a Facebook post.


Welcoming the “good news”, he applauded the gradual change.

More inclusivity & diversity in Singapore’s workforce

After much debate, we’re glad that Singapore is finally taking a step forward on the tudung issue.

This is great encouragement especially for women who’d like to strike a balance between their passion for nursing and their religious obligations.

While the progress is only within the nursing profession for now, we hope this will pave the way for other uniformed services to follow suit.

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Featured image adapted from Jakayla Toney on Unsplash and  K Shanmugam on Facebook.

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