Don't play blame game in a crisis

The carnage in one of the world's most iconic cities holds many lessons for Singapore ("Paris lockdown after terror attacks"; Sunday).

Terrorism can happen anywhere. We must keep vigilant.

How will Singapore react if a terrorist attack happens here?

The military answer would be to impose a curfew, deploy troops and dispatch forensic teams.

The more pressing question we should be thinking of is how the people of Singapore will react.

Will a blame game commence? Will certain people be ostracised?

For example, doctors and nurses were reportedly shunned during the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars) crisis of 2003.

On the other side of the coin was the response to the hostage crisis in downtown Sydney last year ("Australians choose to 'ride together' on road to tolerance"; Dec 17, 2014).

The Twitter hashtag #illridewithyou was an offer of support to Muslims in the country, and garnered more than 150,000 tweets within 12 hours.

Singaporeans should react with empathy, not only towards the victims and their families, but also to those who happen to be of the same race or religion as the attackers.

Wong Yu An, 14, Secondary 2 student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 18, 2015, with the headline 'Don't play blame game in a crisis'. Print Edition | Subscribe