Initiatives for terror awareness to be scaled up

At an SGSecure event at Our Tampines Hub, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam highlighted how in the years since SGSecure - the national terrorism awareness movement - was launched in 2016, three in four Singaporeans are now aware of it.
At an SGSecure event at Our Tampines Hub, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam highlighted how in the years since SGSecure - the national terrorism awareness movement - was launched in 2016, three in four Singaporeans are now aware of it.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

Our preparedness and response must be in-built and part of the new normal, says Shanmugam

Recognising that Singaporeans have to be not just aware of the terror threat, but also committed to taking action and responsibility, the Government is upscaling its anti-terror outreach efforts.

A new SGSecure Responders Network will also be formed so that members of the public trained in emergency skills can volunteer to be committed to be mobilised during a crisis.

In addition to expanding SGSecure roadshows, including holding them at malls to reach a more diverse group, there will also be a bigger focus on involving residents in private estates with a Safety and Security Day at condominiums to practise evacuation drills, basic fire safety and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

At an SGSecure event yesterday at Our Tampines Hub, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam highlighted how in the years since SGSecure - the national terrorism awareness movement - was launched in 2016, three in four Singaporeans are now aware of it.

But more needs to be done, given that the terror threat has not gone away.

"While the attraction of ISIS has abated, nevertheless, the likelihood of somebody, or a group of people, getting angry, getting radicalised, self-radicalised, or radicalised through preachers - those threats remain. They are the new normal," said Mr Shanmugam.

"So our preparedness and response, I think, have to be in-built and part of the new normal. This means getting people committed, not just to be aware, but committed to take action themselves."

Pointing to the new SGSecure tagline, "Our Response Matters. We make SGSecure", he asked the 600 participants at the event: "How are you going to respond? It involves individual responsibility, group responsibility. How do you take ownership?"

 
 
 

Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Sun Xueling, who outlined the plans for the third year of SGSecure at yesterday's event, added: "We must build on the strong foundations we have achieved together to make SGSecure. Together, we can create a generation of ready responders, a community of selfless lifesavers and a nation of everyday heroes."

The new plans include leaders from the grassroots, the community, religious organisations, businesses and schools in five constituencies taking part in Community Response Round Tables to collaborate on emergency preparations in a pilot project.

The myResponder mobile platform, which alerts Singaporeans to people nearby who need medical assistance or help to put out small fires, will also be integrated into the SGSecure app so that more people can access it to offer help.

A new series of SGSecure roadshows will also be held in 16 suburban malls and other places with high human traffic over two years, starting from the latter half of this year.

Ms Sun highlighted Singaporeans who responded to alerts for help on the myResponder app. Grassroots volunteer Adelina Akil is an example of someone who took the initiative to learn CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator. She helped to revive a woman who collapsed at Jurong Point shopping centre in 2017.

"They are everyday Singaporeans," said Ms Sun.

"They do not jump out of buildings or helicopters or wield machine guns. But like the heroes you see in blockbuster action movies, they save lives."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 27, 2019, with the headline 'Initiatives for terror awareness to be scaled up'. Print Edition | Subscribe