Parliament: New laws this year to safeguard events, buildings against terror threat

The 8,000-strong crowd on the first night of the Singapore Social Concerts held at The Meadows in Gardens by the Bay in 2013.
The 8,000-strong crowd on the first night of the Singapore Social Concerts held at The Meadows in Gardens by the Bay in 2013.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Laws to boost security for events with large crowds, and to better safeguard infrastructure and buildings, will be enacted this year as the Government continues to enhance measures to guard against the terror threat.

Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Lee announced this in Parliament on Friday (March 3), during the debate on the Ministry of Home Affairs' budget.

Mr Lee said the Public Order Act will be amended to require events with large crowds and those deemed to be at high risk, to put in place security measures.

A new Infrastructure Protection Act will also be introduced.

Both measures will "require businesses to adopt certain measures to guard against security threats", said Mr Lee, who did not specify which month the amendments will be tabled in Parliament.

He added that his ministry was mindful of the impact these laws would have on businesses, and would take a "practical approach" to keep costs reasonable.

But he pointed out that these costs were what terrorists have imposed on the whole of society, and while the Government has borne a significant share of this so far, communities have to be roped in to help.

"We seek the business community's understanding that these measures are necessary as a shared effort to keep Singapore and Singaporeans safe," he said.