Forum: Bouquets

Salute to unsung heroes

The Covid-19 (coronavirus disease) outbreak has created a special group of unsung heroes. They put their lives at risk, and I respect and salute their selfless efforts.

There are the medical professionals who tirelessly answer their call of duty, stay long hours inside the hospitals and are on standby taking care of patients quarantined due to the outbreak; the cleaners who toil quietly behind the scenes to perform an important mission; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs' crisis response team, the medical personnel, pilots and crew of Scoot who volunteered to bring Singaporeans and family members back from Wuhan.

It is really so heart-warming to know we have these people in Singapore. Thank you all for your courage, your personal sacrifices, your continued professionalism and your exemplification of the best of humanity in tough times.

Let us also remember those doctors, nurses and healthcare workers who worked during the severe acute respiratory syndrome outbreak in 2003 - those who died and those who survived.

Grace Chua


MHA keeping Singapore safe

Kudos to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) for providing security safeguards against potential devious action by a young Singaporean radicalised by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group online (17-year-old held under ISA for supporting terror group, Feb 11).

Flushing out an enemy from within is a major challenge facing Singapore's security services. The enemy within a country is more difficult to identify than an external one.

Similar terror attacks have taken place worldwide. Take, for example, the London Bridge stabbings last year, which involved a UK-born citizen, or the Easter bombings in Sri Lanka carried out by Sri Lankans.

It is a serious and important challenge to curb Islamist extremism in the country. A few Singaporean radicals like Mas Selamat Kastari have stubbornly refused to recant their devious beliefs.

Although never easy, it is important for the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore to continue with the deradicalisation programmes for Muslims found to have committed terrorist activities.

It is also the responsibility of parents to check whether their children are viewing radical material online or mixing with company that have extremist views and inclinations.

Adrian Villanueva

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2020, with the headline 'Bouquets'. Print Edition | Subscribe