Be vigilant of terror threats, suspicious people 'don't always wear black hats': Desmond Lee

Mr Desmond Lee (centre) at a Community Vigilance Workshop on Dec 5, 2015.
Mr Desmond Lee (centre) at a Community Vigilance Workshop on Dec 5, 2015.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
 Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, says terror acts can happen anytime and anywhere.
Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development, says terror acts can happen anytime and anywhere.ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW

SINGAPORE - Singaporeans must keep their eyes and ears open to the threat of terrorism in the country, as acts of terror can come "like a bolt from the blue", a minister said on Saturday (Dec 5).

These acts can happen "anytime, any day and anywhere", like recent suicide bombings in Lebanese capital, Beirut, as well as the Paris shootings, said Mr Desmond Lee, Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs and National Development.

"Suspicious characters... don't always wear black hats, they don't always have music in the background, it's not like (in the) movies," he said at an event at Jurong West to train some 240 volunteers in safeguarding the community against potential terror attacks.

The session organised by the People's Association (PA) is the first in a new series of Community Vigilance Workshops starting this month (Dec).

The workshops are for PA's Community Emergency Response Team (Cert) volunteers, who are now trained in first aid and emergency response skills. They have also been trained by the police on safety, observation skills and crime prevention measures.

PA aims to train about 2,000 team leaders by March, 2016, and another 5,000 Cert members by the end of 2016.

They will be equipped with knowledge about global terrorism and how to identify suspicious behaviour of people. They will also learn how to handle situations involving suspicious objects, and deal with the aftermath of attacks and the recovery measures.

ateng@sph.com.sg