London terror attack

Singapore leaders condemn attack

Singapore's leaders yesterday expressed shock, sadness and solidarity with Britain over Wednesday's terror attack outside the Houses of Parliament in London. President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong condemned the attack as vicious and horrific.

A lone assailant had killed three people, including a policeman, and injured 40 before being shot dead as he tried to enter Parliament.

In a letter to Queen Elizabeth II, Dr Tan said: "On behalf of the people of Singapore, I convey our deepest condolences to the families who lost their loved ones, and whose lives have been affected by this horrific incident. We wish those injured a speedy recovery."

Mr Lee, who is on an official visit to Vietnam, said in a letter to his British counterpart Theresa May: "Singapore strongly condemns this attack, and stands in solidarity with the United Kingdom against such acts that attempt to incite fear, create divisions and disrupt our lives. I am confident that the British people will overcome this challenging period with dignity and fortitude."

Other ministers reminded Singaporeans of the need to stay vigilant in the face of the global terror threat.

SHOWING FORTITUDE

I am confident that the British people will overcome this challenging period with dignity and fortitude.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook post that the "cruel and calculated attack" was "clearly aimed at striking at the heart of British democracy and the British way of life".

The British-born assailant had driven into pedestrians on the busy Westminster Bridge before trying to enter Parliament.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan said in separate Facebook posts that unity is key in countering extremism and the terror groups that seek to divide.

Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing said Londoners' calm and determined response to the attack was an inspiring testimony to the strength of their society.

Yesterday, the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) also issued a statement on the attack.

Ustaz Irwan Hadi, assistant director in the Office of the Mufti and Asatizah Development at Muis, said: "We deplore the loss of innocent lives caused by shocking violence, which has no place in any community."

He urged all communities to rally together and remain vigilant against not just the acts, but the ideas behind them that threaten the fabric of society.

"Our strongest defence against such threats is to maintain our bonds of humanity and shared values. Let us build on our mutual respect, trust, compassion and continuous engagement with each other," he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2017, with the headline 'Singapore leaders condemn attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe