Not being ready not an option

The letter by Mr Seah Yam Meng may unwittingly give the impression to young minds that being always "prepared and ready" for a terrorist attack may be an exercise in futility (No one can be fully prepared for a terror attack; Sept 26).

Nothing could be further from the truth.

The government of the day has the responsibility of making sure that all pre-emptive steps are taken to ensure that attacks like the ones in London and Paris do not happen here.

Singapore is a successful First World country today not through good fortune but through conscious planning, and we need to plan for a terrorist attack.

Also, contrary to what Mr Seah feels, it may be necessary to take these preparatory actions a notch up.

For instance, the Government could consider equipping all upper secondary students with some basic first aid skills.

Injuries suffered by people in a terror attack may need immediate medical attention, and these students could step in to do the job when medical staff are not able to reach the victims on time.

Let us all be vigilant and mentally and psychologically prepared for the worst case scenario and, yet, go on with our daily activities with equanimity, steadfastness and good cheer.

Being caught "off guard" is not an option.

Tan Teck Huat

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2017, with the headline 'Not being ready not an option'. Print Edition | Subscribe