SINGAPORE: There is a need for every citizen to contribute in keeping the country safe, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said on Wednesday (Aug 31).
Speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the Sembawang Air Base, Dr Tan said: "Every Singaporean has a role to play. We have to act as a community towards deterring this more complex environment. They are many ways we can do that. We have to stay vigilant, look out for each other, strengthen our social cohesion and build up our resilience."
Citing the recent foiled plans to fire a rocket from Batam to attack Singapore’s Marina Bay, Dr Tan said the discovery of such a plot was a "chilling reminder" that terrorism happening here is not "a theoretical possibility".
"We have to be prepared. We have to build up our capability in order to meet these challenges," he said.
President Tony Tan Keng Yam on board a Super Puma helicopter. (Photo: Nisha Karyn)
Dr Tan also highlighted the need for a capable and operationally-ready Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) in the present security climate. "Our security situation today is very different from many years ago,” he said. “We face many more complex challenge today. There's no frontlines or defined battle areas. This is a real threat to us.”
During his visit, the President was briefed on the capabilities of the RSAF helicopters. He also boarded a Super Puma helicopter for a familiarisation ride over the country and witnessed a demonstration of the RSAF's search and rescue capabilities.
A demonstration of the RSAF's Search and Rescue (SAR) capabilities. (Photo: Nisha Karyn)
Dr Tan also interacted with RSAF personnel from 125 and 126 Squadrons - which operate the Super Puma helicopters - and thanked them for their efforts in supporting search and rescue as well as counter-terrorism operations over the years.