SINGAPORE: Digital Defence has been added to Singapore's Total Defence framework, signalling the importance of strengthening cybersecurity and ensuring that the country stands ready to respond to threats in the digital domain.
This was announced by Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen in his Total Defence Day message on Thursday (Feb 14). Singapore marks Total Defence Day on Feb 15 every year to remember the day the country fell to the Japanese in 1942.
"Our parents and grandparents suffered in the three-and-a-half years of deprivation and humiliation that followed," said Dr Ng in a video recording.
"We remember those events of the Japanese Occupation to teach every new generation about the price of failure to defend this country."
Dr Ng noted that apart from "real and physical" threats like terrorism, security threats can also come from the cyber world, which he said can be "just as damaging".
"Malicious malware can cripple our systems. Fake news can cause racial riots and divide our people," he added.
Digital Defence, as the sixth pillar of Total Defence, will strengthen Singapore's cybersecurity and help it stand ready to respond to digital threats, said the minister.
"As with the other pillars of Total Defence, we need everyone to participate in Digital Defence," he said.
The other five pillars of Total Defence are Civil, Economic, Military, and Social and Psychological Defence.
"The price of freedom is constant vigilance against threats old and new," Dr Ng said. "After more than 50 years of independence, we must never take our peace for granted or become complacent that those who will do us harm have gone away.
"Whether it's against terrorism, cyber attacks or border incursions, we need Total Defence to remain strong and sovereign."