SINGAPORE - Donations from six community organisations were made on Monday (April 11) to support the renovation of one of Singapore's oldest mosques, which is home to a resource and counselling centre for countering extremism.
The funds will go towards upgrading the Khadijah Mosque in Aljunied and the Religious Rehabilitation Group's (RRG) Resource and Counselling Centre, as well as other efforts to support the group.
The six groups are the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association, AMP Singapore, Jamiyah Singapore, Singapore Kadayanallur Muslim League, United Indian Muslim Association and the Singapore Bangladesh Society.
Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, who was at a seminar organised by the RRG at the mosque on Monday, said the group's initiatives remain important as Singapore continues to face threats from radicalised extremists, such as terror group Jemaah Islamiah (JI), which planned attacks here 20 years ago.
"We continue to face a persistent threat from organised terrorist groups in the region like JI, which has been rebuilding itself. The work of the RRG is of greater significance, now more than ever," he added.
The RRG brings together Islamic scholars and teachers who voluntarily assist in the religious counselling of radicalised individuals and inoculate the wider community against extremist views, and Mr Teo noted that it has made big advances in its efforts over the past two decades.
He was pleased that works to redevelop the mosque and RRG centre are on track.
"I am also heartened that the RRG receives strong support from the local community in Singapore," he added.
"The donation cheque presentation today for the Khadijah Mosque and RRG redevelopment fund is a testament to the ground-up effort undertaken by Khadijah Mosque and the RRG in countering violent extremism in Singapore."
Mr Teo, who is also Coordinating Minister for National Security, noted that Singapore is facing a more troubled and uncertain world.
Touching on the conflict in Ukraine, which is an "existential issue" for small countries like Singapore, Mr Teo stressed that Russia's actions were an egregious violation of the United Nations Charter, which prohibits acts of aggression against a sovereign state.
Any violation of these core principles is taken seriously, whenever and wherever they occur, and it is for this reason that Singapore has strongly condemned Russia's attack on Ukraine, he said.
Turning to the Middle East, Mr Teo said Singapore maintains a longstanding and principled support for a negotiated two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living in peace and security.
"We firmly believe that the peaceful resolution of conflicts is the only way to achieve a durable, just and comprehensive solution for peace and security, whether it is in the Middle East, our region, or the world," he added.
Mr Teo noted that the global terrorism landscape continues to evolve, and Singapore stands against violent extremism and terrorism whatever the source, whether it is the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria or white supremacist groups.
He said the increased use of social media has contributed to a global rise in self-radicalisation cases, and underscored how Singapore is not immune to these threats as it continues to see such people who have been indoctrinated by the violent extremist ideologies peddled online.
He also thanked the RRG for its dedicated work in countering radicalisation and extremism, and said it demonstrates how Singapore needs a community approach in tackling these threats.
The RRG said that the seminar on Monday touched on Singapore's evolving security landscape.