Parliament: Maritime security to be tightened with more physical barriers along coastline

Raffles Marina, through which three foreigners illegally entered Singapore in August. More physical barriers will be put up around Singapore's coastline to prevent illegal entry, while a review of maritime security will be taken in the coming months,
Raffles Marina, through which three foreigners illegally entered Singapore in August. More physical barriers will be put up around Singapore's coastline to prevent illegal entry, while a review of maritime security will be taken in the coming months, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean in Parliament on Tuesday. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN 

SINGAPORE - More physical barriers will be put up around Singapore's coastline to prevent illegal entry, while a review of maritime security will be taken in the coming months, according to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean in Parliament on Tuesday. He was responding to a query by Mr Hri Kumar (MP for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC) after an incident in August when three foreigners illegally entered Singapore through Raffles Marina.

An additional 80km of land and sea-based barriers, such as fences, will be installed. That will result in 143km of barriers around Singapore's 197km coastline, said DPM Teo. The additional barriers will help security agencies to focus their attention on areas and vessels that are more likely to pose a threat, added Mr Teo, who said that these measures have proven to be "generally successful".

Mr Teo said that 46 vessels were seized for intruding into Singapore and 144 persons arrested for illegally entering Singapore waters between 2011 and 2013. Last year, 2,890 vessels were detected and stopped from entering Singapore's territorial waters, although most had simply strayed of course.

While the authorities will review measures to keep Singapore's coastline secure and work closely with stakeholders to put in place any additional measures necessary, Mr Teo said that owners and occupiers of vessel landing points had a part to play in ensuring there was proper security measures on their premises. He called on Singapore's seafaring community to alert authorities to any suspicious activity.

yanliang@sph.com.sg