15 Feb 2005

Message for Schools by Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs, in Conjunction With Islandwide Sounding of SCDF Public Warning System on 15 February 2005

The following message is from Mr Wong Kan Seng, the Minister for Home Affairs:

"Good afternoon teachers and students.

2. You've just heard the "Important Message"signal being sounded by the Public Warning System sirens to commemorate the Total Defence Day. Every 15th of February, all Singaporeans come together to reflect on what Total Defence Day means.

3. What is Total Defence? Total Defence is divided into five areas, that is, Military, Civil, Economic, Social and Psychological Defence. When we take National Service seriously, volunteer in Civil Defence exercises, help to keep the economy going, build strong ties with one another regardless of race and religion, and stay committed to defend our country, we are doing something in every sector of our society to strengthen Singapore's resilience as a nation.

4. As Singaporeans, you should be actively involved in Total Defence. What can you do as a student? For a start, you should be familiar with civil defence and emergency preparedness measures. For example, the "Important Message" signal you heard is to tell everyone to immediately tune in to local radio stations for an important announcement by the Singapore Civil Defence Force. This signal is one of three emergency signals that can be used to alert the population in an emergency. The other two signals are the "Alarm" signal and "All Clear" signal. If you and your family know the steps to take when the different signals are sounded, it could mean the difference between life and death.

5. You could learn about life-saving skills. Skills like rendering first-aid or CPR, will stay useful for a life-time, not just for you but also your loved ones. These skills could come in useful one day and you could be the one to save a precious life. Learn basic fire-fighting as well, so that the next time a fire occurs, you can confidently pick up a fire extinguisher to put out the flames to save lives or properties.

6. Today, under the shadow of a global terrorism threat, safety and security continues to be a key concern for countries around the world, Singapore included. However, this is not something that the Government alone can handle. The whole community needs to be involved and vigilant. You can play your part too.

7. Staying vigilant simply means staying alert. If you notice something amiss, such as a suspicious-looking object, or a person behaving suspiciously in your school or neighbourhood, quickly inform your teacher, your family members or call the Police.

8. Emergency preparedness is all about planning ahead. Knowing what to do in times of emergency can save lives.

9. Being prepared for emergencies is everybody's responsibility. It is only with the commitment of each and every Singaporean, young and old, that our resilience as a nation will be firm and strong. Only then, we will be able to make Singapore a safe and secure home for one and all.

10. Thank you."

Click here for SCDF News Release on the Island-Wide Sounding Of Public Warning System (PWS)

Last Updated on 26 Feb 2015
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