Written Replies to Parliamentary Questions

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on Requiring Building Owners to Ensure Broadcasts from Local Radio Stations About Imminent Threats Can Be Received at Building Basements, by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 06 July 2021


Mr Murali Pillai
: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs whether SCDF can require, as part of its public warning system, that building owners ensure that broadcasts from local FM radio stations dealing with imminent threats that may endanger lives and properties can be received at the basements of buildings.


1.   The Public Warning System (PWS) is a network of outdoor sirens located on roof-tops throughout Singapore. The sirens provide warning of threats such as civil disasters, terror attacks and other home-front emergencies.

2.   In 2017, the SGSecure mobile application was enhanced to also sound the relevant alert when the PWS is activated. At the sounding of the “Important Message” signal through the PWS and the SGSecure app, members of the public can access the message through various means, such as via the SGSecure app, by tuning in to Mediacorp’s free-to-air TV and radio channels, through SCDF’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, as well as via location-based text message alerts through the SMS-based Public Alert System (SPAS). Members of the public need not depend only on FM radio broadcasts.

3.   The SCDF continues to enhance how it relays its emergency messages to the public. For example, during emergencies, SCDF will be extending its emergency broadcast capability to Mediacorp’s meWATCH platform for TV programmes and Mediacorp’s meLISTEN platform for FM radio broadcasts. The emergency broadcast will also be available on Mediacorp’s TV channels carried on Starhub and Singtel’s platforms. In the next generation PWS which will be progressively rolled out from 2024, the system will be able to broadcast voice messages and interface with in-building Public Address (PA) systems. This will ensure an even more extensive coverage of emergency broadcasts, whether indoors or outdoors, and enable members of the public to take the necessary actions to keep themselves safe.