Parliament: Work ongoing to boost anti-terror measures for public transport

A simulated terrorist attack at Tampines West MRT station last month involved more than 120 officers from various agencies and public transport workers. Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament yesterday that LTA an
A simulated terrorist attack at Tampines West MRT station last month involved more than 120 officers from various agencies and public transport workers. Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament yesterday that LTA and public transport operators have been working closely with Home Team agencies.ST FILE PHOTO

The possibility of a terrorist attack against Singapore's public transport facilities cannot be discounted, with the terrorism threat still pertinent.

Therefore, the authorities have been working to customise specific security measures for public transport based on the current threat level.

Work to increase security awareness and strengthen emergency preparedness in the community is also ongoing, Senior Minister of State for Transport Janil Puthucheary said in Parliament yesterday.

"Public transport facilities are attractive targets for terrorist elements due to their vulnerability and potential for mass casualties," said Dr Janil, noting that there have been attacks against commuters and subway trains globally in the last two years.

He was replying to questions by Mr Melvin Yong (Tanjong Pagar GRC).

Mr Yong had asked about the threat level for public transport facilities, in the light of the Terrorism Threat Assessment Report released last month. The report said the terrorism threat in Singapore remains high as more radicalised individuals here are uncovered and terror groups continue to make their presence felt globally.

Mr Yong asked if the Land Transport Authority (LTA) would consider increasing public education efforts to better prepare transport workers and commuters on what to do in case of a security incident in a public transport facility.

 
 
 
 

Dr Janil said LTA and public transport operators have been working closely with Home Team agencies.

An example of ongoing efforts was the simulated terrorist attack at Tampines West MRT station last month, which involved more than 120 officers from various agencies and public transport workers.

"Regular exercises are necessary, even though they may cause inconvenience to commuters," said Dr Janil.

Other efforts include producing a video, posters and advisories that educate commuters and a quarterly protective security awareness seminar for public transport workers.

"It is not just about public transport," he added.

"Actually, this is at the heart of the larger SGSecure movement that the public transport community is trying to play its part in."

Toh Ting Wei

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 14, 2019, with the headline 'Work ongoing to boost anti-terror measures for public transport'. Print Edition | Subscribe