Stay united in the face of terror threats: Tan Chuan-Jin

Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin reiterated the terror threat facing the country, saying that "it's a matter of time, not if but when an act of terror will happen in Singapore".
Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin reiterated the terror threat facing the country, saying that "it's a matter of time, not if but when an act of terror will happen in Singapore".PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

Following the recent string of terror attacks in Britain, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin yesterday called for Singaporeans to stay united.

"Although some of the perpetrators might claim to carry out an act in the name of Islam or any other religion, they don't represent the faith," he said.

"It's very important for non-Muslims... not to discriminate against those who may come from that faith."

He added: "Most of the Malay-Muslims in Singapore are patriotic Singaporeans and they also disavow themselves of links to some of these perpetrators that carry out acts around the world."

He also reiterated the terror threat facing the country, saying that "it's a matter of time, not if but when an act of terror will happen in Singapore".

Mr Tan spoke on the sidelines of an iftar, or breaking of fast, organised by Kembangan-Chai Chee Citizens Consultative Committee and Kembangan-Chai Chee Malay Activity Executive Committee.

The session was attended by 600 residents, including 15 new Singapore citizens.

The trust between the different races in Singapore had taken a long time to build up but can be easily eroded, said Mr Tan, who is an MP for Marine Parade GRC.

He called for Singaporeans to think twice before saying or posting anything online.

He added: "Read the right news because there will be a lot of people circulating things that may not necessarily be true. Some may be seeking to deepen animosity."

Regarding the case of a contract infant care assistant at a pre-school who was detained earlier this month under the Internal Security Act for radicalism, he noted that pre-school teachers here are "dedicated and caring towards children".

He added: "Just because someone from a particular profession has been arrested because of particular beliefs, because of self-radicalisation, it should not taint the rest of the people in that profession."

Melissa Lin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 18, 2017, with the headline 'Stay united in the face of terror threats: Tan Chuan-Jin'. Print Edition | Subscribe