Replace defeatist anti-terror campaign with push for vigilance

The tagline of the SG Secure campaign, "Not if, but when. Our response matters", sends the wrong messages.

It is defeatist and sets a doom-and-gloom environment for the citizenry and society. It does not instil confidence in the public that our authorities know what they are doing to keep us safe from an attack. This does not do justice to the hard work of our intelligence agencies and anti-terrorism forces.

It also gives the impression that our authorities are busy preparing for the aftermath of an attack, instead of preventing one from happening. This could encourage terrorists to persevere in their plots to strike.

Let us not resign ourselves to an inevitable attack. Why not have a campaign to stir everyone out of complacency and encourage vigilance instead?

The tagline could be: "Be vigilant. Call 999 to report any suspicious person or activity." This could be accompanied by a picture of our anti-terrorism forces standing vigilant. Such a campaign will have a psychological effect, as terrorists will feel they are being watched by everyone.

Chia Boon Teck

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 10, 2017, with the headline 'Replace defeatist anti-terror campaign with push for vigilance'. Print Edition | Subscribe