Residents must be eyes and ears of Govt in terror fight

It is of paramount importance to be constantly reminded that counter-terrorism is a "national project".

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam reiterated the point after observing officers from the new Emergency Response Teams on patrol ("Efforts to fight terrorism 'must involve every Singaporean'"; July 23).

It is not only bombs that are being used in terrorism - lone-wolf attackers and groups of terrorists have also used guns, knives and machetes to cause much death and destruction in many countries recently.

The use of a heavy vehicle to mow down people on the streets in Nice, France, which led to more than 80 people killed, and the lone-wolf attacker who took the lives of nine people in Munich are worrying examples of the relatively new terror tactics that have left the authorities at a loss for ways to counter them.

It is every Singaporean's responsibility to be the eyes and ears of the Government.

A cause of concern is the nonchalant attitude of some Singaporeans.

In November 2010, the police conducted a mock terror attack in which a car was parked illegally, with gas cylinders in the back seat and wires sticking out from the door accompanied by a ticking sound. Many people had walked past without showing any sign of anxiety or concern.

It is critical to reach out to students in schools and higher institution of learning, and places of worship, as well as through the media, to emphasise the significance of a cohesive society and that the community must stand united should the unexpected happen.

Bennie Cheok