SINGAPORE: Multiple concurrent civil unrest incidents will "stretch" the resources of the Home Team, but the Singapore Government has a crisis management system in place should these take place, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin.
Responding to a parliamentary question on Monday (Aug 5), Mr Amrin said the primary strategy to deal with such incidents happening at the same time must be to put in place measures to prevent any assembly or procession from escalating into civil unrest in the first place.
He pointed out that public assemblies in Singapore are regulated under the Public Order Act and a police permit is needed to hold such assemblies. Clear guidelines are also given to organisers, such as requiring them to conduct the events in a "socially responsible manner" and make sure there is no danger or undue alarm to the general public, he added.
Additionally, the Public Order and Safety (Special Powers) Act (POSSPA) enacted last year give the police powers to deal effectively with serious threats to public security and order, Mr Amrin said.
For instance, under the new rules, police may impose a cordon around the target area and order any vehicle or individual within the cordon to leave or be removed. They can also impose a curfew requiring every person in the target area to remain indoors within specified hours, he said.
"Such powers allow the police to take decisive measures if the need arises, to prevent public order incidents from escalating," he said.
On the Government's end, should there be multiple concurrent civil unrest incidents, the Homefront Crisis Management system would be activated to coordinate a whole-of-Government response, Mr Amrin said.
He added that police have measures in place to recall and mobilise national servicemen and tap on Volunteer Special Constabulary officers if there is a surge in manpower needs.
"While police resources could be stretched in managing multiple civil unrests, they remain committed to maintain law and order without compromising on response to urgent incidents," he said.