Published: 17 December 2018
1. The Infrastructure Protection Act (IPA), which was passed in Parliament on 2 Oct 2017, will take effect from 18 Dec 2018.
2. The IPA is part of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ (MHA) counter-terrorism strategy to keep Singapore safe and secure, by protecting Singapore’s critical infrastructure, and buildings that are iconic or have high public footfall. These are especially attractive targets for terrorists.
Enhancing Building Security
3. New buildings that house essential services, are iconic or have high public footfall will be designated by MHA as ‘Special Developments’, and existing ones will be designated as ‘Special Infrastructures’. Owners of Special Developments will be required to assess their security risks and incorporate suitable measures into their design before they are built, and for Special Infrastructures, when they are to be renovated. Such measures include the deployment of security technology (such as CCTVs), security personnel, vehicle barriers, and strengthening the building against blast effects. These measures are necessary to deter and deny attacks, and minimise the impact should an attack occur.
4. MHA will also be able to direct owners of selected buildings to put in place additional security measures to guard against terrorist attacks. If a terrorist attack is assessed to be imminent, emergency orders can be issued to protect a building.
Enhancing Security Powers to Protect Sensitive Installations
5. Under the Protected Areas and Protected Places Act (PAPPA), sensitive installations (such as military camps and immigration checkpoints) are declared as Protected Areas (PAs) or Protected Places (PPs).
6. To better protect sensitive locations and prevent terrorists from conducting pre-attack surveillance and planning, the security of PAs and PPs will be enhanced through the following powers found in the IPA:
a) Security personnel will have powers to deal with threats in the surrounding area. This will include powers to question suspicious persons and inspect their belongings, and to require them to leave the area via move-on orders. Signs will be displayed at the perimeter of the PAs or PPs to indicate that these powers apply.
b) Unauthorised photography and videography of PAs and PPs will be an offence under the IPA. Authorised security personnel will be able to stop persons from taking photographs and videos, and take follow-up actions, such as examining and requiring deletion of the images. If found to be taken accidentally or unwittingly, no further action may be pursued unless the individual is resistant without good cause or there is a security reason to do so. Signs will be displayed at the perimeter of the PAs and PPs if no photography or videography is allowed.
7. With the IPA taking effect, the PAPPA will be repealed and the relevant provisions have been incorporated into the IPA.
Centre for Protective Security
8. To enhance protective security in Singapore, the Centre for Protective Security (CPS) will be established. The CPS will be a centre-of-excellence for protective security, covering regulations, training and outreach. It will implement the IPA, and ensure compliance with building security requirements under the Act.
9. The CPS is led by its Director, Mr Andy Tan Woei Luen. From 18 Dec 2018, Mr Andy Tan will also assume the role of the Commissioner of Infrastructure Protection, and exercise the statutory powers and obligations under the IPA.
10. More information on the IPA and CPS is available at CPS’ website at https://www.police.gov.sg/about-us/organisational-structure/staff-departments/centre-for-protective-security.