Ministry of Home Affairs Committee of Supply Debate 2016 - Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 06 April 2016


1.     Thank you Madam Chairman. I thank the honourable members who have given valuable comments.


Overview of Safety and Security Situation


2.     Madam Speaker, 2015 was especially challenging and intense for the Home Team. Our tempo of operations was very high. Despite the challenging environment, and the very substantial number of major events, we can say looking back over the year,  crime remains under control; the unlicensed moneylending situation hit a 10-year low; drug abuse and recidivism rates are stable; road safety, immigration offending and the fire safety situation are all stable.


3.     Ms Sylvia Lim made a number of points about KPIs. I thank her for her comments. What the Home Team does on the ground, and what is achieved, must obviously go beyond what is set out in the Budget Book, and they do.


4.     The KPIs reflect some broad measures, which we published.  In addition, we have internal measures, norms, surveys and also references to serious international benchmarks which help us achieve our aims and provide a framework for measuring performance. All of these taken together must lead to the answer to a very basic question. What is the trust and public support that the Home Team agencies and officers enjoy in Singapore? That is the most fundamental question.


5.     Our most recent safety and security survey was carried out in 2014. 90% of Singaporeans felt safe in their neighbourhoods. Globally, the 2015 Gallup Global Law and Order Report ranked Singapore 1st out of 141 countries. This was on people's sense of safety in their neighbourhoods, and their confidence in their police force. Nine in 10 respondents in Singapore said they felt safe walking home alone at night. This was reflective of the way we all feel.


6.     Specifically, Ms Lim made the point that there may be some under-reporting of crimes. I accept this possibility. In particular, I accept that victims of sexual offences may sometimes be unwilling to report. There could be a variety of reasons for this. Fear in a situation of power imbalance, particularly when the victim is young and knows the offender. And I accept that these victims need to be helped.


7.     Our sense is that, in general, in terms of the statistics, the under-reporting is unlikely to make a significant difference to what we have set out. But we must help those who do not report out of fear. We have undertaken another major review of our criminal processes and criminal laws in general and that review will look at these issues. As I have said before, we do these reviews regularly. A couple of months ago, I asked for such a review to be done. I will ask my officers to consider, in the context of the review, the points made by Ms Lim, including the possibility of surveys to establish the level of under-reporting. Our own sense is that in Singapore at least, given the levels of education, concerns about police or fears of the system are unlikely to be the major reasons for under-reporting. But I think her point at this stage is worth looking at.


8.     Ms Lim also asked about measuring checkpoint efficiency. At our checkpoints, we track efficiency as an internal measure. It is important that we turnaround travellers quickly, for Singaporeans, and also because we are an international tourist destination. But of course, efficiency will not be pursued at the expense of security. It is a balance. How we get the balance right depends on our assessment of the threats. It can vary from time to time and the overall security situation.




9.     Moving on to the topic of terrorism, Mr Singh asked about the nature of the threat of terrorism. I have explained this in recent speeches on terrorism, including how, in terms of scale, network, finances, and propaganda, ISIS poses a far graver threat than Al Qaeda ever was. That is our own serious assessment based on available information. Many experts agree with that assessment. For example, Sidney Jones, Director of Jakarta-based Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict, said that the January attacks in Jakarta "may be a harbinger of more violence to come", and that ISIS "has already transformed the terrorism threat in Indonesia".


10.     So as Mr Singh pointed out, there are some who have said that the threat is exaggerated. After Paris, Jakarta and Brussels, all within five months of each other, I think Members will agree that we can't take that approach. That since some experts think the threat is exaggerated, therefore we don't have to take the threat seriously.  I think we have to step up the measures.


11.     Mr Singh specifically asked about Katibah Nusantara. I have spoken about this. Returning foreign fighters, such as those from Katibah Nusantara, pose a particular and serious threat. They are battle-hardened with combat skills, violent tendencies and extremist ideology and completely intent on perpetrating violence. Katibah Nusantara issues videos in Malay, aimed squarely at the Malay population in this region. They are very serious. In Malaysia, in the last year, more than 100 people have been arrested, including commandos, police officers, military officers, civil servants, because of their allegiance to ISIS or to terrorist leanings. At least one plot was disabled a few hours before it was to be carried out, right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.


12.     Some members have asked about how we will deal with this heightened terror threat. My ministry will significantly enhance our counter-terrorism efforts in three areas:


  • One: Strengthen protection of hard and soft targets, and take other measures, including enhancing the video camera network around Singapore.
  • Two: Enhance our security response capabilities to respond quickly and effectively to any attack.
  • Three: Strengthen community response through a new national movement, which we will call SG Secure.


13.     Dr Tan Wu Meng and Ms Rahayu Mahzam spoke about the need to have a "whole-of-society" mindset in security, and to start young. This is important. The community has always played an important role in keeping Singapore safe and secure. Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin will speak more about our partnerships with the community.


14.     SG Secure will build on the foundation we have set so far, as part of CEP. It will try to take the Community Engagement Programme, or CEP, to a new level. We will seek to empower the community to stay alert, stay united, and stay strong in the face of the terrorist threats.


15.     Ultimately, SG Secure cannot be just a public awareness campaign. It will be a call to action. It will build on what we have achieved through the CEP, which was focused on maintaining and enhancing social cohesion and harmony. SG Secure will be larger in scope and scale in its outreach. It will have a sharper focus on vigilance, and on preparing the community to respond appropriately to potential threats. The success really depends on the community responding to the call, though we will do everything we can to bring it to the community. We will roll out programmes which seek to touch almost every section of our society, on awareness, on responses, and on coming together if there is an attack.


16.     Mr Singh also asked how the Home Team assesses if an individual has been radicalised, and how Singaporeans can be inoculated against extremist teachings. We draw the line quite clearly on support for terrorist groups like ISIS. For example, we have taken action against those who sell ISIS flags. We have taken action against those who propagate ISIS' ideology, and those who intend to go to fight in conflict zones.


17.     Our experience, and the global experience, is that radicalisation is a process that can happen without forewarning, and very quickly, in a matter of months in some cases. We make an assessment of an individual - his motivations, actions, personality and character.  What danger does he pose to society and to the country?  We need to be alert even to the slightest indications of danger, take action and leave no one in doubt as to where we stand.


18.     Mr Singh said that other countries, I think he mentioned Bangladesh, perhaps have taken a more nuanced view. Indeed they do. And I want to dwell on this because it is a very important point. Let's take a few examples of countries which have taken a different approach from us. Let's start with Belgium. For years, they allowed hate speech, in the name of civil liberties. That has contributed to the situation that you have in Belgium today. I'm not saying solely, but it certainly has contributed. Other reasons are ghettos, significant under-employment or unemployment. But the key is the spread of ideology, free and unfettered in a permissive environment. Many of those who got involved are not unemployed. They are highly educated.


19.     When we turn to the UK, and I want to refer to this article, not so much to assert the truth of it from the BBC, but more to indicate if we have such a situation, how   would Singapore deal with it. It is about a gentleman by the name of Masood Azhar, a Pakistani. He was a VIP guest of Britain's leading Islamic scholars. He went to Britain in 1993 for a lecture, and I quote, "When one of the world's most important jihadist leaders landed at Heathrow airport on 6 August 1993, a group of Islamic scholars from Britain's largest mosque network was there to welcome him". The visiting preacher was Masood Azhar. Today, he is wanted by the Indian authorities following the attack on a military base in January this year. BBC's investigations revealed an astounding insight into the way in which hardcore jihadist ideology was promoted in some mainstream UK mosques in the early 1990s and involves some of Britain's  most senior Islamic scholars. He is reported to have addressed students and teachers, telling them that a substantial proportion of the Quran had been devoted to "killing for the sake of Allah" and there was a substantial volume of sayings from the Prophet on the issue of jihad. He spoke on the divine victory for those who engaged in jihad. He told students, "You should prepare for jihad without any delay, you should get jihadist training from wherever you can and we are also ready to offer our services", and so on and so forth. In Britain, that passes for free speech. We will not allow that.


20.     So there are different approaches. If such a person came to Singapore, first of all he would have been prevented from coming to Singapore. And second, if he said those things here, he would be arrested and deported. If a Singaporean said these things, he would be advised not to say them. And if he continued, he would be detained. So it's a different approach.


21.     Let's turn to Bangladesh. The 27 men we deported possessed material on silent killing, jihadist propaganda and how to engage in jihad. They were not thinking of doing it in Singapore, they were discussing it generally. There can be a time gap between thinking about these things and actually carrying it out. Bangladesh was prepared to put 13 of them on surveillance, while detaining the others.


22.     For us, as they are foreign workers, we made a security assessment. The question is whether we allow them to stay, or ask them to leave. So it's a different question for Bangladesh, which has got to deal with what to do with its own citizens. For us, they are foreign workers. Do we put 13 of them on some sort of surveillance and expand our resources? Or do we ask all 27 to leave? The acid test will be this question, if I were to pose it to Members. How many of your residents will be happy if I were to put these 13 of them in foreign worker dorms in your constituency? Would you rather them in Singapore or out of Singapore? I think that is the question for us. Supposing they were 27 Singaporeans, then we make a distinction. We look at who is likely to pose a serious and imminent threat, and a Detention Order will be made under the Internal Security Act against them. We have done that frequently over the years. If we believe they have extremist leanings but are quite far removed from actually carrying out or doing something, we advise them, we may put them on a Restraining Order. So that's the difference. We treat our citizens differently. But for foreign workers, we ask them to leave for obvious reasons.


23.     If you look at Indonesia, for example again the differences in approach, four Indonesians recently came through, including a 15 year-old boy. ICA did quite well. They picked them up and realised they were on their way to the Middle East to fight. We handed them back to the Indonesian authorities. In Singapore, they would have been subjected to the Internal Security Act, no questions. But the Indonesians have released them. They are free to go around thinking of more things to do, and perhaps making further attempts to get to the Middle East. Again, a difference in approach.


24.     The reason I have set out our position quite comprehensively on this, is that we need to be are guided by our assessment of what is and is not safe for Singapore. If other countries wish to treat would-be terrorists in a different way, they do so taking the consequences of their decisions. For example, two of the suicide bombers who took part in the recent Jakarta attacks had just been released from prison. In Singapore, when we pick them up, we would make an assessment and we would not release them until we believe that they have been rehabilitated. A release before rehabilitation means that they may perpetrate more crimes. In Indonesia, the cost of the decision to release was the blood of innocents. That is the cost that societies pay. It does not mean that when we release, we can be absolutely sure that the person will not get back to his ways. It may happen. But at least we do not need to release until we have made that assessment.


25.     I agree with Ms Rahayu Mahzam that we also have to exercise sensitivity in the way we do the messaging. Making it clear that our fight is against extremism and violence, and not against any particular race, ethnicity or religion. Indeed, the Government, through my speeches, as well as the speeches of others, have made that absolutely plain and in fact we emphasise the responsibility that the majority in Singapore has to make sure that there is social cohesion, harmony and peace. We have to make it clear that our fight is against extremism and violence, and not against any particular religion. We have to stay united instead of being divided, taking a collective stand against those who threaten our harmony and way of life; and doing all we can to protect the multi-racial and multi-religious soul of Singapore.  


26.     Mr Patrick Tay spoke about the need to better tap on existing data and platforms to support our counter-terrorism operations. In this heightened threat environment, we have to use all available resources at our disposal to detect and respond to threats. The Home Team will use all intelligence and investigation tools available and make better use of available data. For example, public transport video cameras, Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system, these contain important data that can be vital for our safety and security. We had initially taken the position that some of these data would not be used and have said so in Parliament. I think Mr Mah Bow Tan and Dr Yaacob Ibrahim have all said that in the past. But the changed security environment means that we have to change the position on not using such data. And I wish to state that clearly here, since it is a change from what we have said previously in Parliament. In this changed security environment, the Home Team must be able to collect and analyse suspicious travel patterns, and respond swiftly and decisively for our collective security. If we don't rely on the existing data, then we have to spend taxpayers' money to redo the entire infrastructure, to look at how people move, because that's one of the ways in which you now analyse patterns, apart from the data.   


27.     And the fight against terrorism must begin to be fought beyond our borders as well. Mr Christopher de Souza pointed out that effective regional and international partnerships are key. We have strong reciprocal intelligence and information exchanges with our foreign counterparts. In June 2015, we signed a comprehensive MOU on counter-terrorism with Australia. We have also strengthened legislation to enable quick and effective action against terrorism and terrorism financing, and we have enhanced our international cooperation capabilities. However, even with our best efforts, we cannot rule out the possibility of an attack in Singapore.


Growing Demands on the Home Team


28.     Let me now talk about the growing demands on the Home Team.


29.     Over the next 10-15 years, four major developments will have a profound impact on the complexity and volume of work that the Home Team handles. First, our greying population. This will change a lot of the work that we do. For example, emergency ambulance calls have increased by about 5% annually for the past five years. At this rate, the volume of calls will easily double in 15 years, and it is likely that it will not grow at a standard 5% rate as our population ages quickly. Second, our traveller and cargo volumes are growing. Last year, our land checkpoints handled close to 400,000 travellers per day. At Changi Airport, we expect the volume of travellers to increase by up to 50% in 10 years, from 120,000 to 180,000 travellers per day.


30.     Third, the Home Team now has to confront new manifestations of crime. In 2015, a rise in cybercrime led to overall rise in the crime rate in Singapore. Most of these were committed from abroad. Given technological advancements, we can expect the volume and complexity of cybercrimes to grow. Senior Minister of State Desmond Lee will say more about this. Fourth, public expectations are growing, and in some situations, the way some people treat our officers is unacceptable. We have observed an increasing trend of hurt and verbal abuse towards Home Team officers. They have been threatened, insulted, punched, kicked and bitten. Last year, 344 such cases were reported, or about one case every single day. We will take firm action against such abusive persons, including prosecuting them and pressing for stiff sentences.


New Operating Model Needed


31.     All these factors increase the workload on the Home Team. As it is, our overall manning levels are not high. We only have about 170 Police Officers per 100,000 population, which is quite low compared with other cities like London, New York and Hong Kong. There will be limits to how many more ambulance crews, immigration officers, or police officers we can employ. We would certainly like to have more manpower across the Home Team.


32.     To answer Ms Lim's questions specifically, across the Home Team, whether it's Police, ICA, SCDF, all our Departments face manpower challenges. There are smaller numbers of young Singaporeans entering the workforce each year. This is the result of our falling birth rates. The private sector also needs people. If the public sector takes more, then the private sector will be squeezed even more.


33.     So the Government imposes some caps on the growth of the public sector. This discipline is necessary for the sake of the country. And within the public sector, other Ministries, agencies also need manpower. So, everyone is feeling the squeeze.  Everyone has to learn to live with less manpower than is ideal. That is the situation in Singapore. That is the reality.


34.     In the Home Team, we are certainly not in an ideal situation in terms of manpower. Given the limited overall manpower pool and in particular, the stringent requirements of the Home Team uniformed services. For obvious reasons, the requirements are stringent and strict, in terms of fitness, character and assessments of the person's suitability. It doesn't mean we always get it right, but there are a number of requirements. So we are unable to get all the manpower that we need, but we will do our best to ensure the safety and security outcomes remain good. So how are we doing? Based on statistics, you can see from the indicators, overall crime rate, dealing with emergencies, our drug situation, on most criteria, we are among the best in the world.


35.     I set this out in some detail, because I want to acknowledge the central point that Ms Lim makes about manpower challenges, and explain the broad limitations on what we can do about it. But beyond the present, the fact that we are doing well today is no guarantee of the future. I am focused on the years ahead, how the challenges will develop, and how we will respond.


36.     We need an operating model to enhance our operational effectiveness and manage our wor kload. We need to use technology. For example, with our limited resources, it is going to be difficult to respond to all incidents, within the same response time. The Home Team needs to be data-driven, tiered and differentiated in its frontline response. This means employing data analytics to anticipate ahead of time where safety and security emergencies might arise, and intelligently deploy our resources to focus on those hotspots. The end result will be more resources into higher priority areas for a faster response time. Inevitable trade-offs will have to be made.


37.     Coming back to the Police and counter-terrorism, despite the significant manpower challenges, we are working on significantly enhancing the size of our Emergency Response Teams. Numbers will have to be increased. There is really no choice. If we don't, then in my view, we take unacceptable risks. This is going to require ongoing conversations about manpower caps, even as we increase the size of our Emergency Response Teams.


Harnessing Technology


38.     Let me say something about the use of technology.


39.     This year, the Police Force will be making a major investment to extend Police cameras to public areas in our HDB residential estates, such as town centres, neighbourhood centres, and pedestrian walkways linking HDB blocks to bus interchanges and MRT stations. This programme, PolCam 2.0, will build on the ongoing PolCam 1.0 programme which installed video cameras at all HDB blocks and multi-storey carparks. They are a key plank in our counter-terrorism and crime-fighting strategy.


40.     Another area where technology can help us is at our checkpoints. By year-end, all motorcycle counters at our land checkpoints will be equipped with automated clearance facilities. Motorcyclists entering Singapore will have their passports verified by a machine; and have their thumbprints scanned for identity authentication. This is similar to the automated lanes available for Singaporeans at passenger checkpoints. This is more efficient, more convenient, without compromising on security.


41.     Likewise, the new Changi Airport Terminal 4 will feature a new operating model with more self-service immigration facilities powered by technology and creating a hassle-free experience and reducing reliance on manpower. These initiatives will help enhance our operational effectiveness, allow us to do more with a limited number of officers, and free up our manpower resources to be re-deployed to more critical areas.


Developing Our Officers


42.     But technology and systems are not effective without good officers. Mr Desmond Choo and Mr Louis Ng highlighted the importance of attracting Home Team officers and optimising our manpower resources to meet increasing demands.


43.     Police will step up recruitment this year to fill new posts in the Emergency Response Teams, and to build up the Special Operations troops. Police will also enhance its scheme of service to attract young people to join the Force, and to retain the good officers we already have.


44.     First, Police will implement a unified rank structure, moving away from the separate schemes for junior officers and senior officers that we currently have. There will be a unified single scheme and a single rank structure for all Police officers. Good Diploma holders who join the Force can look forward to seamless advancement opportunities up the ranks. 


45.     Second, Police will introduce expert tracks to build deep specialty in the key domains of investigations, intelligence and special operations. There will therefore be new career developmental pathways for officers with specialised skills. These measures will help enhance the operational capability and preparedness of the Police Force. Details will be announced at the Police Workplan Seminar later this month. We will also progressively extend the changes to the rest of the Home Team departments.


46.     Another group of officers who play a vital role in the Home Team are our National Servicemen. Mr Melvin Yong observed that the number of full-time Home Team NS officers will decrease over time. That is so. Thus, SPF and SCDF have embarked on and completed their NS transformation reviews. We are restructuring our plans for full-time NS officers and reservists to focus their deployment on operational roles that will have a direct impact on the ground situation, and give them more opportunities to assume leadership and specialist roles.


Auxiliary Police Officers


47.     Beyond the Home Team, the Auxiliary Police Forces are our important partners.


48.     Ms Sylvia Lim spoke about Auxiliary Police Officers (APOs). APOs are deployed for a range of functions, including protecting sensitive installations and supporting Police deployment at major events. They are used as a complement to Police resources. Police can then perform core functions like crime-fighting and countering terrorism. There are about 7,000 APOs deployed in Singapore today. They are either Singapore Citizens, PRs who are Malaysian citizens, or Malaysian citizens.


49.     Ms Lim asked if there is a ratio of five Malaysians to one Singaporean. That is not correct. More than half of the APOs are Singaporeans and that is not by chance. My Ministry has deliberately required that there be a Singaporean majority, despite the manpower challenges. If there is any change, it will only be done after a careful review. Again, our preference would be for more Singaporean APOs, but getting Singaporeans with the right qualifications and personality fit has been a challenge for the companies again because of the overall manpower shortage. You will of course get some people who will come forward to be APOs but are not accepted for the role, but the companies have to find them suitable. We have fairly strict requirements for APOs.


50.     On the deployment of APOs, this depends on the risk assessment and operational requirements of the post. We are conscious of the implications of hiring and deploying Malaysian APOs. My Ministry requires that all APOs deployed at land checkpoints be Singaporeans.


51.     Ms Lim also spoke about civilian personnel who are recruited for law enforcement duties, and spoke about the gentleman who was deployed by LTA for enforcement duties. Some Government agencies do appoint civilians, including volunteers, as auxiliary officers. These agencies will have had a procedure to recruit, train and audit the officers to ensure that they can carry out their duties effectively and professionally. Obviously there has to be a process to pick and train people who are suitable to do the job. On the specific case, perhaps if Ms Lim gives me the details, I will ask LTA to see what actually happened. A word about age – the fact that someone is 60 itself should not be a limiting factor and not be seen as a barrier. But of course the personality must also work. On this case, only LTA can give an answer


Secure and Humane Custody of Prisoners


52.     Ms Lim also asked about the psychological support for prison inmates, and the use of their time in prison. These are important points.


53.     Our prison regime is strict, rigorous, with a strong focus on discipline. There is no question that it is a no-nonsense environment, and it has to be so. But the fundamental point is that we cannot see them simply as detainees for a period. We have to focus on rehabilitation, so that when they leave, they do not re-offend.


54.     Specifically, on mental health, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) has multi-disciplinary teams, comprising prison officers, medical officers, psychiatrists, psychologists and counsellors. When Prison officers observe their inmates exhibiting signs of mental health issues, they will refer them to the psychiatrists and psychologists. In addition, members from the Board of Visiting Justices and Board of Visitors conduct regular surprise visits to prison institutions and Drug Rehabilitation Centres to check on the inmates' well-being. Inmates can also approach them during their visits to raise any requests or provide feedback.


55.     While in prison, SPS has a key focus on rehabilitation. The idea is to look at it as a continuum, try and do what we can before they offend. Previous Second Minister for Home Affairs Masagos chaired a committee to look at that because we try to prevent people from coming into prisons in the first place. Today, there is data that shows what is the likelihood of someone offending at a young age. The fact that someone drops out of school is usually an indicator, and there are other indicators. And then prison, and post-release, we have to look at it as a continuum, to try and reduce the likelihood of them coming into prisons, and second if they do come in, we reduce the likelihood of them reoffending. So we take that approach, and not just the period when they are in prison.


56.     So what do we do when they are in prison? First of all, they need to be taught self-discipline and self-control. Second, once their discipline is established, they should be given, and there are qualifying criteria based on risk assessment and a variety of factors, training and be selected for work programmes. This is so that after they are released, they can get jobs. The post-release period, when they are most vulnerable, is important. So we have focused quite a bit on what happens post-release. The Government brings in the private sector, and SCORE as a statutory board has been set up to focus on some of these aspects, so that when they are released we try to get them a job. We have been doing this for a number of years, and we will have to do more.


57.     In terms of the specific questions raised, enhancing their employability through Workforce Skills Qualification training and numeracy and literacy programmes, of those who qualify, 85% of inmates who can work are engaged in work programmes. The remaining 15% are awaiting work allocation. In terms of specific drop in numbers, rather than going into specific factors, the SPS has introduced a programme recently whereby those who are about to be released go for 10 months of intensive pre-release counselling. That means they cannot go for work programmes and may be one reason for the drop in numbers, but there are a variety of factors.


58.     The proportion of inmates who qualify and are engaged in work programmes has actually been increasing. There are also religious counselling programmes, family programmes, and other counselling programmes to address inmates' drug addiction issues and criminality. Ultimately, I would say one good indicator of where we are at is the recidivism rate of 27%, which is much lower than what many other people may call first-world prisons. For example, the recidivism rate in Scotland is about 40%, NSW 48% and NZ 36%. Our own recidivism rates were 40% in the year 2000, but through these interventions, we have brought it down to 27%. Our recidivism rate may go up again, depending on how hardcore the prisoners are, but you can see the broad trends. Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin will elaborate on the throughcare approach to rehabilitation that SPS adopts.


59.     Mr Pereira asked about social impact bonds and whether that can be used to reduce recidivism. The approach we have taken is even more direct by asking the private sector to come in and work with us to employ the people. That's even more important. So there is a requirement for "private sector investment", but it is done through first identifying the jobs the inmates can perform when they are released, and then the extent we can train them. If it is possible to do it in-house, we will do that. If we need to bring in external consultants, we will do that too. SCORE takes care of a number of these things. The Government's seriousness with which we are approaching this is shown by the setting up of a statutory board, which identifies companies which have an interest in employing these inmates, and a fair bit of this is to also reduce the social stigma associated with employing them. That is why we try to reduce the social stigma by giving the Yellow Ribbon Project very substantial prominence. The Prime Minister launches events relating to the programme, and other senior ministers keep it in public consciousness and work with the private sector to get them involved. This scaffolding is a much more direct approach that we have taken. This investment bond idea is a very recent one from the UK, and we will study it, and to see what works. 


Our Safe and Secure Home


60.     7 days a week, 24 hours a day, the work of the Home Team never ceases. Our officers are on the ground constantly working to keep Singapore safe and secure. You saw this during the Christmas and Chinese New Year periods, especially at the checkpoints. More officers were on duty during these peak periods so that Singaporeans can enjoy the festive periods.  And the demands on the Home Team will continue to rise, because of external threats and local developments.


61.     We will press on with our transformation journey, build our capabilities; develop our officers; and work closely with the community to meet these challenges head-on, and continue to keep Singapore safe and secure. 





Managing Security Threats
Science and Technology