'Terror attack' at Tampines hawker centre teaches residents to run, hide and tell

A simulated terror attack at Tampines Round Market and Food Centre.ST VIDEO: LIM MIN ZHANG

SINGAPORE - Gunshots interrupted residents taking selfies at the Tampines Round Market and Food Centre on Sunday morning (July 9), before the 'gunmen' were taken down and first aid given to the 'victims'.

The five-minute simulated attack was conducted by the Singapore Police Force, Singapore Civil Defence Force and volunteers from the community, as part of Tampines Changkat's Emergency Preparedness Day. Residents were told to "run, hide and tell" in such crisis situations.

The one-day event was the 28th under the nationwide SGSecure movement launched last September. Since the movement's launch, the People's Association has worked with the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and revamped Emergency Preparedness Days to focus on counter-terrorism scenarios.

Mr Desmond Choo, grassroots adviser to Tampines grassroots organisations and Tampines GRC MP, said: "The strength lies in the community, the strength doesn't lie in all the concrete bollards... The more united we are, the more we can stand up to these threats."

Mr Choo, who is also mayor of North East District, reminded residents that a terror attack "is not a matter of if, but a matter of when".

 

"We chose the round market because we wanted to let residents know that (such attacks) can hit you anytime, anywhere, even in the comfort of the place where you had breakfast for the last 20 years; that this is a place where you carry out your routine activities doesn't mean you are safe," added Mr Choo.

Earlier this week, it was revealed in Parliament that another two radicalised maids have been repatriated in recent months, bringing the total number of such cases since 2015 to nine. Mr Choo raised this fact to show how the community has a role to play in reporting such cases to the authorities.

Other than exhibition booths and panels where residents can learn skills such as CPR and improvised first aid skills, residents also watched a multi-language SGSecure Community Skit that depicted the message of run, hide and tell.