London attack a reminder of global terror threat, Singaporeans need to stay vigilant: Singapore leaders

Flowers are laid at the scene after the attack on Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, March 22, 2017.
Flowers are laid at the scene after the attack on Westminster Bridge in London, Britain, March 22, 2017.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore leaders have reacted to Wednesday's terror attack in London by condemning the act and reminding Singaporeans of the need to stay vigilant in the face of global terror threat.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam on Thursday (March 23) morning said it was "a cruel and calculated attack, clearly aimed at striking at the heart of British democracy and the British way of life" in a post on his Facebook page.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the British people," he added.

London was rocked by the attack, in which a man drove into pedestrians and stabbed a policeman close to Britain's Parliament building.

Five people, including a police officer and the assailant, were killed and about 40 others injured.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also commented on the tragedy earlier on Thursday, saying he was saddened by the loss of life and injuries.

"We need to be alert to prevent an attack; ready to respond to keep ourselves and others safe if we are caught up in one; remain resilient to carry on life normally; and stay united to counter those who advocate extremism and violence," Mr Teo wrote on his Facebook page.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Chan Chun Sing said the way Londoners are responding to the attack is an inspiring testimony to the strength of its society.

"While the attack may seek to disrupt our way of life, the Londoners clearly show how we can stay together to deny anyone who want to rob us of our sense of peace and security. We will need to stay vigilant and united to face down such threats." he wrote on his Facebook page on Thursday morning.

"Let's stand together with London against such terrorist acts."

"Singapore strongly condemns this horrific act of terror," Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan said in a post on his Facebook page on Thursday afternoon.

"Singapore stands in solidarity with the British people and the British government. We must never let such acts disrupt our way of life or divide our people," he wrote.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) also issued a statement following the attack.

"Muis is deeply saddened by the horrific attack which took place at Westminster. We deplore the loss of innocent lives caused by shocking violence, which has no place in any community," said Ustaz Irwan Hadi, Muis assistant director of Mufti and Asatizah Development.

"This is a stark reminder for all communities to rally together, care for each other, and remain vigilant against such senseless acts, and the ideas behind them, which are a threat to the fabric of our society."

Speaking outside her 10 Downing Street office, Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the attack as "sick and depraved" and called the location where it was carried out "no accident".

"The terrorist chose to strike at the heart of our capital city, where people of all nationalities, religions and cultures come together to celebrate the values of liberty, democracy and freedom of speech," she said.

Any attempt to defeat those values through violence was "doomed to failure", she said.