PM: Vital for security to adopt technology

PM Lee Hsien Loong testing the prototype of the automated passenger-in-car clearance system at Woodlands Checkpoint.
PM Lee Hsien Loong testing the prototype of the automated passenger-in-car clearance system at Woodlands Checkpoint.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/LEE HSIEN LOONG

In the move to become a Smart Nation, it is important that security agencies in Singapore also make use of technology to keep the Republic safe, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

In a Facebook post following his visit to the Woodlands Checkpoint and Senoko Fishery Port on Monday, Mr Lee described some of the technology being employed by the Home Team.

This included the new automated passenger in-car clearance system at the Woodlands Checkpoint, which saves manpower and allows more traffic to be handled at Singapore's land checkpoints, which are among the busiest in the world.

After checkpoint officers inspect a vehicle and physically count the occupants, the travellers will be guided to scan their passports while still in their vehicles. At the immigration clearance zone, robotic arms will extend so each traveller can perform biometric scans on a handheld device, without having to disembark.

This technology will make use of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority of Singapore's existing biometric database and wireless technologies, said Mr Lee.

First announced two years ago, a photo of the prototype system had circulated on social media earlier this month, erroneously identified as a "fuel tank scanner". In his post, Mr Lee reminded people here to "be careful before forwarding unverified info".

On his visit, PM Lee viewed two of the Singapore Civil Defence Force's new assets: the fire medical vehicle and the rapid response fire vessel.

"The Home Team has helped make Singapore one of the safest cities in the world. Their dedication, professionalism, and hard work give us peace of mind in our daily lives," he said.

"Nevertheless, as new security threats emerge, we must build capabilities to counter them."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'PM: Vital for security to adopt technology'. Print Edition | Subscribe