The setting up of emergency response teams to enhance Singapore's counter-terrorism strategy is an excellent initiative ("Fast-response police unit to counter terror rolls out in June" and "In an emergency, alert police via i-Witness"; both published on April 30).
Besides setting up an SMS emergency service for a hostage/terrorist situation, perhaps what is more applicable is a WhatsApp emergency number, to complement the i-Witness function.
In a terrorist attack, members of the public at the scene may have photos of the terrorists or vital clues.
As every second counts, the public can immediately send photos or videos to the authorities, instead of merely relying on SMS.
Thus, the authorities will very quickly have a better idea of the situation and react accordingly.
The WhatsApp number should, of course, be one that is easy for the public to remember.
Lee Kek Chin