Don't let fear of terror threats paralyse us

I understand that Mr Seow Joo Heng is concerned about the safety of people riding on our MRT trains ("Install metal detector gates at MRT stations"; Monday).

However, it is important for us to recognise that such a suggestion arises from fear.

The objective of terrorism and its acts of violence is to instil fear, with the end result being paralysis of mind and body.

In order for us to engage this fear, we have to embrace it by investigating the source and quality, and to see what basis it has.

Do we put in place every remediation that we can find to counteract all the risks? Or do we take a balanced approach, where security does not come at the expense of freedom and convenience?

The Government has reiterated that a terrorist attack here is only a matter of time.

I am confident that the authorities are prepared, and that security experts would have put in place measures to mitigate the risks.

The SG Secure initiative has also been launched to engage, train, organise and mobilise Singaporeans to better protect ourselves from an attack and safeguard our way of life.

Equally important is our psychological defence.

We should not live in a state of fear of "what if" scenarios, thinking that Singapore is not safe.

When we are vigilant and prepared, we will be able to better manage ourselves when a terrorist incident does occur.

Let us not let fear projections paralyse us as a nation.

Wong Shih Shen

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 14, 2016, with the headline 'Don't let fear of terror threats paralyse us'. Print Edition | Subscribe