The Ministry of National Development plays a key role in shaping Singapore’s landscape. We speak to Ahmad Anwar, a diploma holder in Visual Communications, who has gained significant experience and skills through his work at the ministry.
The Ministry of National Development (MND) has an important vision: To create an endearing home and a distinctive global city for Singapore’s residents to live in. Emulating its vision is the MND Family – officers of MND and its statutory boards who display enthusiasm and a commitment to make a difference to the nation’s landscape.
Ahmad Anwar, an Executive in Community Engagement at the Municipal Services Office, is one of them. He shares with us how his aspiration to do something worthwhile for the country drew him to MND.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE THROUGH DESIGN
Anwar always had a desire to do meaningful work through art. While serving his National Service, he had the opportunity to engage in design and advertising work for the Singapore Civil Defence Force. This provided a chance for him to understand the working styles of the public sector. “I was also exposed to various government organisations, including MND, where I learnt about their duties and objectives,” Anwar explains.
It was MND’s vision statement – An Endearing Home and a Distinctive Global City – that resonated with him. Instantly, he knew MND was the right place for him. “I wanted to be part of an organisation that supports a meaningful purpose. I was thrilled at the thought that I will one day be able to contribute to the safety and sustainability of our home,” Anwar says.
Today, he gets to do just that by applying his visual communication skills into design projects he is tasked with. “One of the projects I worked on was to design the advertisement banners and posters of MND’s OneService,” he explains. “These advertisements were placed at community events, public places and even on social media platforms; and serve to educate the public, encouraging them to download the application.” OneService is a mobile application that enables members of the public to provide feedback on municipal issues, without having to find out which agency is responsible for the issue.
Ahmad Anwar Almahdi Bin Jazair
Municipal Services Office
“I strive to elevate Singapore’s vibrancy and sustainability through my designs.”
LEARNING BEYOND THE CLASSROOM
Besides applying skills he learnt from school, Anwar is thankful that he is able to follow his passion and do what he enjoys. “It is rewarding and I am learning not to take it for granted,” he expresses earnestly.
Anwar has also gained new perspectives by participating in community events that MND is involved in. “During these events, I get a chance to speak to members of the public. This is where I gain fresh insights into their concerns, provide them with advice and learn how I can help to address their needs through my artwork.”
However, this does come with challenges, such as how to communicate a clear intention through his artwork. “The artwork has to appeal to viewers for them to want to find out more and it has to include all necessary information. Most importantly, it has to be communicated effectively and align with MND’s overall messaging,” Anwar explains. “This takes time and it can be a challenge especially when there are so many projects happening at the same time.”
As such, Anwar has also picked up time management skills as he learns to prioritise his work. “I learnt to work with a prioritisation list. This may sound like an oversimplified solution, but it does wonders for me.”
Through these opportunities and challenges, Anwar has gained an appreciation of the work the government sector does for the community.
A SENSE OF FULFILMENT
Today, Anwar feels a sense of fulfilment each time he sees his works in and around Singapore. “I strive to elevate Singapore’s vibrancy and sustainability through my designs. Knowing that my design can be of great influence – whether it increases awareness or downloads for the OneService application – drives me to do better each day.”
Having chosen a career that he is passionate about, Anwar invites students with a desire to do something meaningful and fulfilling to join MND. “MND has a welcoming and friendly environment. I’d say go ahead and join MND!”