Mr Thomas, who is also President of the Security Association Singapore (SAS), says such
simulation exercises are helpful as they provide participants with an opportunity to
experience how they might think, feel and react should an actual attack take place.
"Another important mechanism is the Safety and Security Watch Group scheme (SSWG), in
which the police, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and building owners work together
to toughen security responses to threats, including terrorism," says Mr Thomas, adding
that private security firms should also take part actively in SSWGs and involve their
security officers in response drills and exercises.
Mr Faizul admits that there was initial resistance because his team was often seen as
imposing security measures that were unpopular or inconvenient. However, as more
employees at the Sports Hub attended his workshops, what was seen as overly strict
security measures eventually became routine.
"Now they know that every time a vehicle comes into the Sports Hub, it needs to be
inspected. They know that every visitor or contract worker needs to exchange passes," he
Mr Faizul and his team have also been encouraging staff, vendors and visitors to download
the SGSecure app, which allows users to receive important alerts or alert authorities in
the event of emergencies.
"A lot more people are beginning to make reference to the app," says Mr Faizul. "There is
a push notification about news and incidents so when users receive it, they would inform
each other and even ask if we are doing anything about it."
However, Mr Faizul is also pragmatic about how learned habits can potentially fly out the
window when panic takes over. That is why he counts on a robust command and control
structure to handle any emergencies that may arise.
"Every time we have an event, we make sure there is a team of managers who have
experience managing an incident and can handle it," he says. "We always work as a team."
To Mr Faizul, there is a crucial end goal to remaining vigilant. "At the end of the day,
it’s about everyone being able to go home," he says.