Our Community
Our Response Matters; We Make SGSecure
SGSecure enters its third year with the support of the community at large, and a renewed focus on how we can all play a part.

Walking past Jurong Point in October 2017, Mdm Adelina Akil noticed a crowd gathered around an elderly lady who had collapsed. 

When she got closer, she saw a man performing Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) on the casualty. But the man was performing it wrongly. 

An enthusiastic member of the Pioneer Community Emergency and Engagement Committee since 2011, Mdm Adelina decided to take over. “I felt very nervous initially, but when someone in the crowd commented, ‘This is the right way to do CPR’, nothing else mattered to me,” she shared. “I was just focused on helping to revive the lady.” 

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SGSecure advocate: Mdm Adelina spends much of her time as a volunteer as she was inspired by her late father, who used to be a grassroots volunteer. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Mdm Adelina continued performing CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over. An everyday hero, she’s just one of many Singaporeans who has embraced the SGSecure movement by learning life-saving skills and using them to help others. 

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A snapshot of SGSecure in its third year. GRAPHIC: Peggy Tan

Our Response Matters
Launched in 2016, the SGSecure national movement has made solid progress in raising public awareness about the threat of terrorism. From workplaces and schools to neighbourhoods and places of worship, it’s safe to say that the SGSecure mantra of Emergency Preparedness has become part of our national fabric. 

At the SGSecure Community Conference on 27 January 2019, Minister for Home Affairs and Law Mr K Shanmugam thanked key SGSecure stakeholders for their efforts and urged them to, “not just be aware, but committed to take action themselves.” 

This means that, in addition to knowing basic responses like “Run, Hide, Tell” and “Press, Tie, Tell,” we should also be prepared to take action by helping others in times of need and mobilising our family, friends and community in an emergency. 

Here are three examples of how Singaporeans have already shown that their responses matter. 

Meaningful Engagements with Our NSmen
Superintendent (SUPT) (NS) Mohd Azman bin Mohd Sidek voluntarily applied for the PNSmen Volunteer Extension Service after his NS term expired in March 2018. 

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SUPT (NS) Azman (left) and his buddy SUPT (NS) Ow Kok Meng both voluntarily applied for the PNSmen Volunteer Extension Service, in order to continue spreading the SGSecure message. PHOTO: Home Team News

Asked why he decided to apply for the extension, the former NS Commander of the Police National Service Department shared, “I used to do it on a project basis, but I thought it would be more meaningful to make these more regular.”

This urge to make a difference was shared by his good friend, SUPT (NS) Ow Kok Meng. “Singaporeans tend to take it for granted that the Government will take care of everything, but it’s not so simple,” he said. “Everybody has to get on board.”

Since then, the duo has devoted their weekends to helping Singaporeans learn SGSecure-related skills such as how to identify suspicious behaviour. “I want people to feel safe knowing that they’re prepared,” said SUPT (NS) Azman. 

When Educators, Police Officers and Neighbours Work as One
An intruder walks into Queensway Secondary School, demands to see the principal and threatens the teachers. What would you do?

Don’t worry, this is just one of the simulated security incidents that educators at the School are ready for, as part of a series of ground deployment exercises at Queensway Secondary.

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Educators from Queensway Secondary School worked together on an emergency response plan with Police officers from Queenstown NPC and church leaders. PHOTO: Home Team News

“Should an emergency occur, the protocol that we teach our students is to listen for the lock-down message, keep calm, stay safe and contact the authorities,” shared Mr Yong Wei Leong, Vice Principal of Queensway Secondary School. 

The School also collaborates with Police officers from Queenstown Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC) to prepare students through SGSecure talks and emergency exercises, and to reach out to neighbourhood entities. 

“We encouraged the School to approach neighbours such as the Church of Our Saviour, which is situated next to it,” said Deputy Officer in Charge Tan Wei Liang, Community Policing Unit, Queenstown NPC. “This helps to create a bond between them, instead of having the Police as a middleman.” 

For Mr Yong and his fellow educators, SGSecure is now very much a neighbourhood effort. When an emergency occurs at the School, students can now be directed to the Church’s premises, for their safety. 

Enhancing Security as a Group
Over at the Jurong Gateway Safety and Security Watch Group, vigilance is key. If any Watch Group member notices a suspicious person or item in the area, he or she won’t hesitate to share that information with other members of the Watch Group. 

This is part of their attempt to enhance the security of the district and further improve their crisis response. 

Science Centre Singapore and JurongHealth Campus are two of the 10 organisations that make up the Watch Group, which organises quarterly meetings to coordinate emergency response plans. 

“Because of our close proximity, it’s very important for us to notify our neighbours in an emergency,” said Director (Operations) of Science Centre Singapore Veronica Heng. “If there’s an incident at the Science Centre, the perpetrators may move towards other buildings in the area. We have to alert one another, so that we can be prepared, do lockdowns and take other necessary measures.” 

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Ng Kian Swan of JurongHealth Campus (middle) with Veronica Heng of Science Centre Singapore (second from right) fellow representatives of the Jurong Gateway Safety and Security Watch Group. PHOTO: Home Team News 

Communication is key to this effort. In April 2018, a mass casualty incident exercise was conducted in Ng Teng Fong General Hospital to test the Hospital’s emergency preparedness. In attendance were other members of the Watch Group. 

“Whenever we conduct security drills, we’ll invite all our partners to observe and better understand one another’s capabilities,” said Chief Operating Officer of JurongHealth Campus Ng Kian Swan. “We have to continue to sharpen our skills and knowledge. But the most important benefit of coming together is the trust and friendship we’ve built up, so that we can respond together in an emergency.” 
SGSecure Year Three
The new SGSecure response framework and other key Emergency Preparedness initiatives were unveiled at the SGSecure Community Conference on 26 January 2019. For more on the Conference, check out: 
Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Law
Speech by Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Natasha Razak
  2. 31 January 2019
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