SGSecure Community Conference 2019 – Speech by Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry for Home Affairs and Ministry for National Development
Published: 26 January 2019
Ladies and gentlemen
Good morning and welcome to our very first SGSecure family reunion.
Since we launched the movement two years ago, this is the first time we are bringing together SGSecure responders from the six different domains, our partners and our stakeholders. Minister Shanmugam has talked about how the terror threat is a new normal, and that our preparedness and response must also be normalised, to become a part of our daily lives.
Our response matters. We are the ones who make SGSecure. I will now share how each of our different domain partners has incorporated SGSecure into their engagements with their respective stakeholders.
Starting with our schools and our young, SGSecure has been incorporated into the learning continuum for students from the lower primary level. We have books such as “Attack at the Mall”, “the Runaway Car”, which sensitise our young students to how terror and emergency scenarios can happen in everyday places. We have also created special books for our young in special education schools and also in Braille.
Building on the foundation laid in primary school, our secondary school students are provided practical lessons on skills, such as using an AED. Students who go on to post-secondary educational institutes or the IHLs take part in SGSecure-related activities on campus.
And for our adults and friends at work, more than 12,000 companies have been certified under the enhanced bizSAFE framework, which incorporates risk management planning for terror scenarios. There are also more than 51,000 businesses that have appointed a SGSecure rep to serve as their organisation’s mobiliser-in-chief. We have also engaged more than 2,500 companies in key priority sectors which have high pedestrian footfall, namely, the sectors of F&B, Retail, Entertainment, Hotels and Transport, to be ready for emergency scenarios.
For our community at large, the Police and SCDF have visited and engaged more than 430,000 households on SGSecure. This represents a third of all our households in Singapore. We have completed Emergency Preparedness Days in all 89 constituencies. One in four grassroots leaders are trained in at least one EP skill such as first aid and mediation and 80 per cent of our IRCC leaders are trained in facilitation skills. Together, they can step up to help in times of crises.
We have also launched the SGSecure Community Network (or SGCN), which to date has brought on board more than 80 of the largest religious organisations. We have also conducted interfaith dialogues “Common Senses for Common Spaces” and “Ask Me Anything” to prompt the wider community to think more deeply about issues concerning our social cohesion. Our community efforts are supported by strong messaging on SGSecure on our free-to-air programmes, including the vernacular channels.
Not forgetting our security agencies, Mindef and MHA. Apart from leading efforts at the national level, we’ve also had NS SAF and Home Team Commanders come forward to volunteer in more than 50 constituencies, to contribute their operational expertise to help raise the level of preparedness in their respective neighbourhoods.
As you can see, our first phase of the SGSecure movement is comprehensive and involves multiple stakeholders. We have reached out to homes, to offices. We have educated our young and our community. We have equipped our first responders. We have a strong SAF and Home Team.
But at the end of the day, SGSecure is about that one moment. That one moment, when a terrorist attack occurs, when it comes to the crunch, how prepared are we?
It only takes one alert Singaporean to notice a suspicious package and sound the alarm. And it only takes one prepared Singaporean to administer CPR to save another’s life. When it comes to that one moment, are you that one Singaporean? So to the man on the street, the everyday Singaporean, what is SGSecure to him?
We hope SGSecure will be in his mind, in his hands and in his heart. To be in our minds - to be prepared by knowing the threats, and knowing basic to-dos like “Run, Hide, Tell” and “Press, Tie, Tell”. To be in our hands – so that we can act, to mobilise friends, family and the community when an emergency strikes. And to be in our hearts – to be willing to step up to help a Singaporean in need when the situation calls for it. And to have the heart to learn lifesaving and other EP skills in peacetime so that we are in the position to help others when the situation arises. To achieve this, to get into the minds, the hands and the hearts of our countrymen, we intend to do the following in the next lap of SGSecure.
To let more people know about the possible threats, we will be bringing SGSecure into our population centres. We will also be rolling out a new series of SGSecure roadshows to 16 suburban malls and other places of high human traffic over two years, starting from the latter half of this year. These are soft targets for terrorists. We also be working with mall operators, tenants and neighbouring stakeholders, to hold drills and exercises, to enhance the state of preparedness in these population centres. We will also involve grassroots leaders, student uniformed groups, and also company emergency response teams.
And to step up our outreach, we will move beyond our heartland doors into our private estates. We will be organising SGSecure “Safety and Security Days” events at 50 condominiums island-wide this year. Our private estate citizens also need to be prepared and alert to dangers.
Next, to enable our citizens to act and to mobilise in times of crises, to put power in their hands, we will facilitate the formation of partnerships across domains so that trust and bonds are built in peace-time and the community can galvanise and respond effectively when needed. We will pilot the Community Response Round Table in 5 constituencies in 2019 to bring together leaders from the grassroots, community, religious, business, and school domains. We will have a stock take of the level of community preparedness and coordinate contingency efforts amongst the stakeholders.
Lastly, for us to truly embody the spirit of SGSecure, we need to feel it in our hearts. To desire to help another human being. And to step up when the moment comes.
Minister Shanmugam spoke about Madam Adelina Akil, a mother of two who used her CPR skills to save a lady. There is also Mr Koh Yi Hui, Mr Amos Hoe and Mr Hazmi – everyday Singaporeans who responded to alerts on the MyResponder app to provide medical assistance, to help put out small fires. Ladies and Gentlemen, these are everyday Singaporeans. They do not jump out of buildings or helicopters or wield machine-guns, but like the heroes you see on blockbuster action movies, they save lives. They saved fellow Singaporeans.
In the coming months, the MyResponder function will be incorporated into the SGSecure app. More Singaporeans from different walks of life can participate and provide help to Singaporeans caught in emergency scenarios.
No nation has ever been truly great or been truly safe without the collective will and the collective efforts of its people. We must build on the strong foundations we have achieved together to make SGSecure. Together, we can create a generation of ready responders, a community of selfless life savers and a nation of everyday heroes.