Forum: Everyone has a role in combating terrorism

We thank Mr Benjamin Ng C.K. for his support of SGSecure (The community needs to step up emergency response skills, Aug 17).

While there is currently no information of a specific terrorist threat to Singapore arising from the situation in Afghanistan, the ongoing developments there are of concern.

The situation provides fertile conditions for terrorist groups to regroup or establish bases there. Radicalised individuals could be inspired to make their way to Afghanistan to take up arms.

The authorities will do all we can to detect, prevent and neutralise terrorism threats. However, our efforts alone will never be enough.

The community needs to play its part and supplement the Government's efforts by also maintaining vigilance and strengthening its preparedness and unity in the fight against terrorism.

We encourage the public to sign up for the Singapore Civil Defence Force's Community Emergency Preparedness Programme to learn important life-saving skills like first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillation, and basic firefighting. Similar courses are offered by the People's Association (PA) at community clubs.

Psychological first aid is also an important skill, to help individuals who are traumatised by a terrorist attack. PA has started training its grassroots volunteers in this.

We must also remain vigilant to signs that someone around us may have become radicalised. Anyone who knows or suspects that a person has intentions to travel to Afghanistan or other conflict zones, or has been radicalised, should promptly contact the Internal Security Department counter-terrorism hotline on 1800-2626-473 (1800-2626-ISD).

Our collective response as a society after an attack, or even a foiled attack, is crucial. We need to keep calm and stay informed via official sources of information, and not speculate or spread rumours. We should also reach out to and show care for one another, and participate in community recovery activities.

Edwin Tan, Director, SGSecure Programme Office,

Ministry of Home Affairs