Terrorism a threat to multiracial harmony, says MP Joan Pereira

From above: An "attacker" (centre) trying to "stab" someone during Exercise Heartbeat at 313@Somerset yesterday; members of the Singapore Police Force's Ground Response Force responding to the attack; and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers attend
An "attacker" (centre) trying to "stab" someone during Exercise Heartbeat at 313@Somerset yesterday.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
From above: An "attacker" (centre) trying to "stab" someone during Exercise Heartbeat at 313@Somerset yesterday; members of the Singapore Police Force's Ground Response Force responding to the attack; and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers attend
Members of the Singapore Police Force's Ground Response Force responding to the attack.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
From above: An "attacker" (centre) trying to "stab" someone during Exercise Heartbeat at 313@Somerset yesterday; members of the Singapore Police Force's Ground Response Force responding to the attack; and Singapore Civil Defence Force officers attend
Singapore Civil Defence Force officers attending to "victims". The counter-terrorism exercise, which started in 2009, has been held islandwide in various public locations.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Joan Pereira calls for Singaporeans to stay united, support Malay-Muslim community

Terrorism presents a threat not only to human lives and physical infrastructure, but also to Singapore's multiracial and multi-religious harmony, said Tanjong Pagar GRC MP Joan Pereira yesterday.

Referring to Wednesday's news that a former religious teacher Murad Mohd Said and his student Razali Abas were issued Restriction Orders (ROs) under the Internal Security Act, she urged Singaporeans to strengthen the ties among local groups and support the Malay-Muslim community.

"The terror threat is a real and present danger in Singapore. And with all of us now on social media, you see individuals being radicalised and they influence others and they destroy themselves, destroy their family members, destroy their community and destroy the multiracial and multi-religious harmony that we Singaporeans have so painstakingly built," said Ms Pereira, who is also the deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs.

"They want to destroy this. So it is very important that Singapore and Singaporeans stay united, stay strong and not let such elements tear us apart."

Murad, 46, was placed on an RO on Dec 5 last year for promoting radical beliefs and views detrimental to the country's cohesion. His student, 56-year-old technician Razali, who was found to hold radical views concerning the use of armed violence against the perceived enemies of Islam, was placed on an RO in October.

Ms Pereira added: "It is important for us to know that they do not represent the Malay-Muslim community.

NEED TO STAY UNITED

With all of us now on social media, you see individuals being radicalised and they influence others and they destroy themselves, destroy their family members, destroy their community and destroy the multiracial and multi-religious harmony that we Singaporeans have so painstakingly built.

TANJONG PAGAR GRC MP JOAN PEREIRA

"What is important for each and every one of us, now, today and moving forward, is to stand together with our Malay-Muslim community, brothers and sisters, stand together with them to continue to deepen and strengthen the ties that we have. Build on it, strengthen it, stand together and condemn those terror attacks that will harm our social fabric."

She was speaking at a counter-terrorism exercise yesterday at 313@Somerset involving officers from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singapore Civil Defence Force and some of the mall's management team and tenants.

Exercise Heartbeat, which started in 2009, has been carried out islandwide in public locations such as Jurong Point, the National Library and Sentosa.

In the run-up to the session, 313@Somerset's management and tenants were trained on the SGSecure "run, hide, tell" procedure and learnt improvised first-aid skills.

 
 

Ms Cheryl Goh, the mall's general manager, said the exercise was an opportunity to "put our emergency procedures into practice" and "enables the mall and retailers to stay vigilant and prepared".

SEE Secular state key for S'pore's social cohesion

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 19, 2019, with the headline 'Terrorism a threat to multiracial harmony, says MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe