Shared bikes could pose a security threat

Recently, I have been noticing more shared bikes being parked or left near places where many Singaporeans gather.

After the 9/11 attacks, the roadside parking area outside the American Club was removed because of security issues.

Today, if such shared bikes are left in sensitive areas, or areas like MRT stations, will they be removed?

We have grown so used to seeing these bikes that we do not view them as security threats.

These bikes can be easily filled with explosive materials, and can be remotely detonated as they have built-in GPS and Internet of Things technology.

I watched a recent episode of NCIS, in which terrorists used bicycles as roadside improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

I am sure terrorists will do the same in real life.

During my last visit to southern Thailand, I noticed that all Singtel/M1/StarHub roaming phones were rendered unusable, and I was unable to send or receive phone calls and text messages.

Only local Thai phone cards could be used.

The Ministry of Home Affairs has already announced that telecommunication services may be suspended during terrorist attacks.

Perhaps officials are also aware of the threat of shared bikes being used as IEDs too.

These bikes, helped by recent improvements in telecommunications, can become a serious threat to our national security.

I hope the authorities will be able to comment on this.

Larry Leong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2018, with the headline 'Shared bikes could pose a security threat'. Print Edition | Subscribe