SAF always prepared for any contingencies, but all Singaporeans have role to play: Ong Ye Kung

Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung (in blue shirt) watching soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR) respond to a mock war scenario.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung (in blue shirt) watching soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR) respond to a mock war scenario.ST PHOTO: JERMYN CHOW

SINGAPORE - The recent terror attacks in Paris are a sobering reminder that Singapore's safety and security cannot be taken for granted, said Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung.

To ensure that the Republic is ready to protect itself against terrorist attacks, Mr Ong said the Singapore Armed Forces is always on standby round the clock and "prepared for any contingencies".

Mr Ong was speaking to reporters on Thursday (Nov 26) after he witnessed how soldiers from the 2nd Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment (2 SIR) were activated to test how they responded to a mock war scenario.

The unit in Amoy Quee Camp, which is among several army ground units like the armour and artillery units that have been put on stand by, was activated.

Some 300 soldiers were put through their paces in a scenario that tested how quickly they can get ready to suppress an enemy that has invaded Singapore.

Mr Ong saw how soldiers drew their equipment, loaded ammunition and deployed for action.

He said: "What we see today is a sample of what we can do and how we are getting ready to protect ourselves against terrorist threats."

Noting that Singapore has been stepping up its security vigilance through many deployments in key installations and drills, Mr Ong said: "The SAF can only do so much, but ultimately every Singaporean, everyone also has a role to play. This is Total Defence in the light of terrorism threat.

Mr Ong added that it is very important that all Singaporeans stand together.

"The mutual understanding, mutual appreciation that we built up over the years between races, between communities - that is priceless," he said.