Community has to be aware of ISIS threat and take preventive measures: Masagos

SINGAPORE - The community should be aware of the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), and take preventive measures, said Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.

For example, parents should watch out for signs of radicalisation in their children, he said.

Speaking to reporters on Monday at the Global Security Asia conference and exhibition, he added: "We have to play a preventive role - the society, the Government and especially parents - to watch out for tell-tale signs in our children, family, and friends...(and) we want them to report early to the authorities.

"The Government's role is to ensure that our borders are secure, there is racial harmony and that we do not become a society that hates each other... But everyone has a part. We would like the community to be involved, be our eyes, our ears."

The biennial conference on security and terrorism is being held at Suntec Convention Centre from Monday to Wednesday. The theme of this year's event is the threat of ISIS to Asia. More than 50 delegates from countries including Malaysia, the Philippines, Israel and France are attending the conference.

There are over 150 exhibition booths on security solutions and technology as well as weapons to combat terrorism.

Said conference chair Rohan Gunaratnan, a professor of security studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies: "ISIS presents a credible and wide-reaching threat to global security, not just in the Middle East. (Its) ability to radicalise and militarise individuals anywhere in the world is growing.

"We want to assess the impact of the ISIS threat in Asia, including from chemical, biological and radiological attacks."

limyihan@sph.com.sg