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Counter-Terrorism Seminars Launched to Rope in Business Community in Fight against Terror
The Singapore Police Force on Monday, 18 July 2016, held its inaugural SGSecure Safety and Security Watch Group

In light of a devastating spate of shocking attacks and growing threats dealt out by individuals and groups with terrorist intent against the peace and security of different regions in the world, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) on Monday, 18 July 2016, held its inaugural SGSecure Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) Counter-Terrorism seminar aimed at combating potential terrorist attacks at public or crowded spaces, and workplaces, through the mobilisation of industry stakeholders and a regular exchange of critical security and emergency response know-how, updates, intelligence and safety advisories. The initiative also focused on establishing a unified resolve amongst industry players, such as the retail community, to strengthen collective vigilance, community response and partnerships.

The seminar, held at One Marina Boulevard, was specifically designed and organised for stakeholders in the retail industry.

Attended by over 350 participants, the seminar would be the first in a series of industry-specific SGSecure SSWG Counter-Terrorism seminars which will be held till end February 2017, and attended by members from the Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) and Industry Safety and Security Watch Group (iSSWG).

“We need to strengthen the community's readiness to respond to any terror incident,” said Mr Melvin Yong Yik Chye, Member of Parliament for Tanjong Pagar Group Representation Constituency, and Guest of Honour at the inaugural SSWG Counter-Terrorism (Retail Industry) seminar.

“The retail community has an important role in this as Singaporeans spend a considerable amount of time in retail malls and shopping centres,” he added, urging stakeholders and the general business community to actively participate in SGSecure programmes such as these seminars so that more can be “aware, trained and equipped to deal with the terrorist threat and the aftermath of a terror attack.”

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 “Mr Melvin Yong urged the community to do their part in keeping Singapore safe at the launch of the first SSWG Counter-Terrorism Seminar.PHOTO: Mabel Yap

In his opening speech at One Marina Boulevard, Mr Yong also reminded retailers to go beyond enhancing physical security measures such as upgrading and boosting their CCTV surveillance capabilities, to equipping employees with critical emergency preparedness and life-saving skills such as basic first aid and evacuation procedures.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was also present at the seminar to impart emergency response and fire safety and prevention tips. Officers demonstrated the SCDF’s improvised first aid skills that can be applied to casualties in the immediate aftermath of a terror attack before rescue troops arrive. 

“We hope these efforts will help retail personnel know how to take care of themselves and their customers better in a crisis situation,” said Mr Yong.

He suggested too that contingency plans drafted by malls and entertainment centres be regularly reviewed through simulated drills and exercises, and augmented with post-crisis and recovery measures for staff and customers should an attack happen.

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 Attended by over stakeholders in the retail industry, the seminar would be the first in a series of industry-specific SGSecure SSWG Counter-Terrorism seminars which will be held till end February 2017. PHOTO: Mabel Yap

Mr Steven Goh, Executive Director of the Orchard Road Business Association, was one of the stakeholders present at Monday’s inaugural seminar for the retail community. Acknowledging that Orchard Road, with its over 100 commercial and office buildings, malls and hotels, may be deemed as an inevitable soft target for an attack, Mr Goh recognised the seminars as an important platform for members of the retail industry in Singapore to encourage one another to heighten their vigilance, share security information and best practices and step up on training measures including equipping retail staff with emergency response skills.

“It's important to keep the network close amongst stakeholders... It's a shared responsibility,” said Mr Goh.

“In today's context, seeing the unexpected horror in the world, it's obvious that the threat is very real. What we need to do is to work with the authorities and inculcate a culture of watching out for one another, be it at an individual level or within the business community,” he added.

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 “It's a shared responsibility,” said Mr Steven Goh (far-right). PHOTO: Mabel Yap

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 Mr Melvin Yong trying out the Singapore Civil Defence Force's Improvised First Aid (Press. Tie. Tell.). PHOTO: Mabel Yap

Emphasizing this need to decrease the public's vulnerability to terrorism, Mr Melvin Yong reiterated that the efforts from the government or emergency response teams alone, though intensely enhanced, are not enough.

“We need the community to do their part in keeping Singapore safe,” added Mr Yong. “We hope that day will never happen. But when an attack happens, we can save more lives if members of the community [people nearest the incident site] can be the first to respond and react appropriately.”

© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.


  1. by Mabelle Yeo
  2. 18 July 2016
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