Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Plans to Prevent Large Quantities of Potentially Dangerous Substances from Being Misappropriated and Landing in the Wrong Hands, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 26 July 2021


Mr Desmond Choo:
To ask the Minister for Home Affairs what are the plans to prevent large quantities of potentially dangerous substances, such as fuel, from being misappropriated and landing in the wrong hands.


1.   The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is cognisant of the security risks posed by certain chemicals, and, together with other regulatory agencies and the industry, has a framework in place to safeguard them. These chemicals are also known as security sensitive materials (SSMs). We adopt a risk-based approach in regulating such substances, applying controls according to the hazards they pose.

2.   We have clear laws and processes to regulate the management of SSMs, from handling, to storage and transportation. These laws are overseen by the respective regulatory agencies, based on the properties of the substances. For instance, SSMs which are flammable are regulated under the Fire Safety Act by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and those which are toxic are regulated under the Environmental Protection and Management Act by the National Environment Agency.

3.   To illustrate, SCDF imposes both safety and security requirements to safeguard flammable SSMs stored at oil and gas facilities. These installations are required to install protective security measures, such as perimeter barriers, access control, and closed-circuit television monitoring systems. Vehicles transporting large quantities of SSM must be fitted with a Hazmat Transport Vehicle Tracking System (HTVTS). The HTVTS tracks the movement of the vehicle and it would be immobilised if it deviates from its approved route or timing. SCDF conducts regular audits and inspections of licensees to ensure compliance.

4.   MHA and other regulatory agencies work closely with the industry to regularly review the SSMs and the control measures, while remaining facilitative for their legitimate use as far as possible.