Step up anti-terror awareness

With more terrorist attacks taking place all around the world, there is a need for Singaporeans to be more alert and prepared to deal with this type of present-day "warfare".

Such attacks are not restricted to suicide bombers. There are also gun and knife attacks, and Singapore cannot afford to be caught unawares.

It is regrettable that the football match at Stade de Francecarried on, with everyone seemingly oblivious to the danger, despite hearing loud explosions ("'There was blood, bodies everywhere'"; Sunday).

Singaporeans need to be more vigilant. We must know our enemy's ways and take countermeasures.

I propose that the Government re-emphasise the principle of the five pillars of Total Defence, which was introduced years ago but seems to have lost some steam.

This Total Defence principle should be highlighted constantly, as its importance cannot be overemphasised.

In addition, each constituency should organise voluntary "self-defence" groups, to patrol the neighbourhood, help maintain law and order and cleanliness, and look out for signs of terrorist activities, nipping them in the bud.

Vigilance is the best way to counter covert terrorist action.

The public should act as the eyes and ears of the authorities, so that prompt action can be taken.

We cannot afford to be complacent. If we let the terrorists succeed, it will be too late for tears.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 19, 2015, with the headline 'Step up anti-terror awareness'. Print Edition | Subscribe