Published: 13 September 2016
Mr. Christopher de Souza: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs how SGSecure will help foster the unity needed to overcome threats to Singapore.
1. SGSecure is a call to action to Singaporeans to unite and prepare for the threat of a terrorist attack.
2. SGSecure builds on the work that we embarked upon in 2006 under the Community Engagement Programme, or CEP. The CEP began as an initiative to preserve and strengthen communal harmony and cohesion in the aftermath of a terror attack. We decided to do this because we saw what happened after the London 7/7 bombings in 2005, when some segments of the community became targets of hate crime. Over time, the CEP expanded its objectives to also prepare our people to be resilient and better prepared for any crisis or emergency. In the last 10 years, the CEP has laid the groundwork and built networks of trust, so that we will stand strong and united.
3. In today's heightened security climate, it is even more urgent that we continue to strengthen the bonds among our various communities. Terrorist attacks can have a crippling effect on societies that extends beyond the physical devastation. In some instances, we have seen how terrorism has fomented distrust among fellow citizens, making their efforts to stand united and bounce back as one people more challenging.
4. There are lessons for Singapore in this regard. We must ask ourselves how we will react when a terrorist attack happens here, especially if the perpetrators are fellow Singaporeans. Will our communal ties remain strong? Will we be able to overcome suspicion and fear? Will we refrain from pointing fingers, and instead help and support fellow Singaporeans, regardless of race or religion, to overcome the trauma of an attack?
5. To enhance our community response, two key pillars in SGSecure - "Stay United" and "Stay Strong" – will specifically focus on the need for the community to stay united in the aftermath of a terrorist attack, to pull closer together by helping one another, and to be able to bounce back quickly to show that we will not be cowed.
6. SGSecure will be officially launched by PM on 24th September. Members will hear more about the SGSecure programmes which MHA and its partner agencies will be rolling out across the various domains, such as schools, workplaces, national service community and community groups.