On Assignment
Building the Vigilance and Resilience of Community Leaders
Grassroots and community leaders from Chong Pang Constituency gathered for a Crisis Response Exercise

The mantles of grassroots and community leaders were tested at a Crisis Response Exercise (CRX) conducted at Chong Pang Community Centre on 18 September 2016.

During the four-hour long inject-based exercise, fictitious scenarios were introduced to participants to simulate the stress and urgency in the aftermath of a terror attack. Participants were required to address the “injects” with real-time responses.

During his visit to the exercise, Minister for Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam said the attacks in New York on 17 September 2016 suggested that these events are “happening everywhere”.

“How does the community respond? How do we cut out the rumours? How do we get information across? A lot depends on the local grassroots leaders. This exercise is about getting them to think about those kind of issues,” Mr Shanmugam said.

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Minister for Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam said it is important to include communal and religious leaders in responding to the aftermath of a terror attack. PHOTO: Nizam Neti

The exercise was attended by 36 participants comprising Chong Pang Grassroots leaders and members from the Community Emergency and Engagement Community Committee (C2E).

Organised by the People’s Association (PA), the exercise is a signature programme under the ‘SGSecure in the Neighbourhood’ initiative. SGSecure is a national movement that aims to prepare Singaporeans against the threat of terrorist attacks.

“In this, the PA is an essential organisation and they provide pretty much all the basic space and the staff. And information will come from MHA to PA, so they work together,” Mr Shanmugam added.

The exercise was also a test on the community and grassroots leaders’ emergency preparedness in responding to mass-casualty terrorist attacks, and managing potential communal tensions within the community by addressing rumours that may arise.

They were also expected to include religious organisations should the attack involve religious issues.

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Minister for Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam attends a briefing during a Crisis Response Exercise at Chong Pang Community Centre. PHOTO: Nizam Neti

Another key focus of the exercise centred on the responses in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and its impact on the overall recovery phase. The exercise also aimed to strengthen the emergency preparedness of the community and grassroots leaders and the operations capability of the C2E.

“For every constituency, we have an emergency preparedness plan. So this exercise allows us to run through our plans and how we implement some of the operation,” Mr Toh Sze Wei, Chairman of Chong Pang C2E committee, said.

The 42-year-old added that the exercise was crucial as it allowed his team to identify the possible gaps within their emergency preparedness plans, so that they may work to improve the process.

Mr Toh’s team will also be conducting more house visits to recruit more residents to the SGSecure team. This will help create more awareness on SGSecure issues, and train more first-aiders and first responders, he said.

“I think the people are aware, but the level of awareness is not very deep. The next step is to increase the level and depth of awareness and also to get them to think about their own role in these things,” Mr Shanmugam added.

Chong Pang Zone 3 Residents’ Committee Chairman Mr Mani Rajangam, 46, a participant of the exercise, said he felt more confident after the CRX.

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Chong Pang Zone 3 Residents’ Committee Chairman Mr Mani Rajangam, 46, poses during a Crisis Response Exercise at Chong Pang Community Centre. PHOTO: Nizam Neti

“From this exercise, we have already pre-planned all these things, and now we know where the lapses are. So this helps us improve,” he added.

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


  1. by Desmond Ang
  2. 19 September 2016
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