SINGAPORE - The two Singaporean auxiliary police officers arrested for terror-related offences have undermined the work of officers in the security agencies in keeping Singapore safe, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said on Friday (June 23).
"Singapore has been safe and harmonious over the years, thanks to the hard work of the officers and men in our security agencies," said the President in a Facebook post. "These two radicalised individuals have therefore disappointed many Singaporeans."
Dr Tan's comments on Friday come three days after the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) announced the arrest of the two cops last month under the Internal Security Act for their links to terrorism. It is believed to be the first such case involving uniformed personnel.
Muhammad Khairul Mohamed, 24, has since been detained for planning to travel to Syria to fight against the Syrian government, while Mohamad Rizal Wahid, 36, is placed on a Restriction Order for supporting his plan. The men were fellow Aetos officers at Woodlands Checkpoint.
News of the cops' arrests comes one week after the ministry disclosed it has detained 22-year-old Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, the first Singaporean woman to be held under the ISA for radicalism.
The infant care assistant had planned to travel to Syria with her child to become a "martyr's widow", fighting for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
These arrests "are yet another reminder of the vulnerability of Singapore to extremism", Dr Tan said.
He noted the report that Singapore has been named by ISIS supporters to be part of its East Asia Wilayah, or state, will embolden terrorists to target Singapore. "We are facing a global challenge against the scourge of terrorism," he added.
Dr Tan stressed the importance of protecting and preserving racial and religious harmony in Singapore in the face of global terrorism.
"We must not let fear and suspicion drive a wedge between our communities," he said, adding: "The terrible attacks committed by terrorists in the guise of their religion are not acts advocated by Islam."
Noting that most Muslims are peace loving, Dr Tan said: "We must continue working together to enlarge our common space and strengthen inter-community ties to inoculate ourselves against the virus of terrorism."