United we can fight fear of terrorism

We thank Mr Chia Boon Teck (Replace defeatist anti-terror campaign with push for vigilance; March 10) and Dr Yik Keng Yeong (Measures to handle terror attacks complement vigilance; March 13) for their letters on Singapore's approach to counter-terrorism.

Both letters have helped to raise awareness on the global terrorism threat, which Singapore is not immune to.

We agree that the fight against terror is a whole-of-society effort.

This is the essence of the SGSecure movement, which aims to sensitise, train and mobilise the community to be part of our fight against terror.

While we are strengthening the capabilities of our security forces to detect, prevent and mitigate terror threats, the reality is that the terrorists need only get it right once.

Far from being defeatist, the SGSecure movement reflects our belief that by being one united people, we need not fear that eventuality.

What matters is our response to the threat. This underlies the SGSecure movement's call to action to "Stay Alert. Stay United. Stay Strong".

We believe that our response must begin with every member of society being alert against potential threats, and every community playing its part to strengthen cohesion within and between communities to withstand any attempt by terrorists to strike at our social fabric.

Finally, being trained in emergency preparedness skills such as improvised first aid will better equip us to stay strong and bounce back quickly after a terror attack.

Sunny Lee

Director Media Relations

Community Partnership and Communications Group

Ministry of Home Affairs

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2017, with the headline 'United we can fight fear of terrorism'. Print Edition | Subscribe