Paris attacks

Citizens must stay vigilant against terror threats

People leave flowers, candles and messages at a memorial at Place de la Republique square in Paris, France on Nov 15, 2015.
People leave flowers, candles and messages at a memorial at Place de la Republique square in Paris, France on Nov 15, 2015. PHOTO: EPA

The Paris terror attacks last Friday is yet another stark reminder to be on our guard at all times ("Paris lockdown after terror attack"; yesterday).

Global terrorism knows no boundaries and is here to stay. No right-thinking person would ever condone such senseless acts of terror. Terrorists will always try to inflict maximum harm, so they will target places where there are mass gatherings of people, such as hotels, shopping centres, night spots, social events and airports.

The influence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has been far-reaching, and many young, impressionable men and women have been radicalised into believing that they are fighting for a just cause.

While our authorities have been taking great pains to tackle terrorism on all fronts, as citizens, we should also play our part by being vigilant at all times and sparing no effort in preventing terrorist activities from taking root here.

In this respect, we should treat any unusual situation with the utmost suspicion, as it is better to err on the side of caution. At the same time, we should also continue with our daily activities and not be paranoid.

While it may not always be possible to prevent such an incident, the greatest enemy could well be our lackadaisical attitude - believing that such incidents would never occur here.

Any untoward incident here could have serious repercussions on our political, economic and social stability.

Andrew Seow Chwee Guan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 16, 2015, with the headline 'Citizens must stay vigilant against terror threats'. Print Edition | Subscribe