SINGAPORE - Digital defence will come under the spotlight at an annual exhibition to mark this year's Total Defence Day, which falls on Feb 15 - the day Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942.
Curated by the S'pore Discovery Centre (SDC), Our Next Battlefront will focus on fake news, disinformation and cyber threats while seeking to heighten public awareness on how these hazards can impact the nation's survival and how individuals can play their part to guard against them.
Last year Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said digital defence could become the sixth pillar of total defence, a framework to reflect the multi-dimensional nature of defence, comprising five pillars - social, psychological, military, civil and economic.
In line with this year's bicentennial celebrations - commemorating Sir Stamford Raffles' arrival in Singapore in 1819 - the first part of the exhibition highlights 30 key incidents over the last 200 years of our history that have threatened national peace and security.
Some were fuelled by false claims, rumours and propaganda, and the exhibition also details the lessons that can be learned from them.
Among the incidents cited are the Maria Hertogh riots, the hijack of Singapore Airlines flight SQ117 and the escape and arrest of terror suspect Mas Selamat.
The second part of the exhibition focuses on present-day threats on the digital front that could compromise national security, including cyber attacks on critical infrastructure - such as the recent SingHealth data breach - and the rising incidence of fake news.
The final part of the exhibition suggests ways in which individuals can guard against fake news and disinformation campaigns,which have the power to cause unrest in our multi-ethnic and multi-cultural country.
The exhibition has been put together with archival materials from the National Archives of Singapore and also features interactive stations such as one where visitors have to decide whether to "forward" or "delete" a piece of news that they have received from their loved ones on WhatsApp.
The executive director of SDC, retired brigadier general Lowrence Chua, said: "This exhibition features historical key incidents of unrest, rumours and propaganda as well as recent cases of fake news and cyber threats. We hope our visitors can understand the consequential impact better, and be prepared to do our part in our next battlefront.
Our Next Battlefront will open on Tuesday (Jan 29) and run until to Mar 24 at the SDC. Admission is free for all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents (PRs). Non-citizens and non-PRs can find out more about the various pricing packages for the exhibition on SDC's official website: www.sdc.com.sg