SINGAPORE: The Infrastructure Protection Bill passed in Parliament this week underscores the role that can be played by the "built environment family" to tackle potential security threats, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC and North East District Mayor Desmond Choo said on Wednesday (Oct 4).
The Bill requires some new buildings to incorporate security measures into their design before being built, and was first announced during Committee of Supply debates earlier this year as part of counter-terrorism efforts.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the fourth International Facility Management Conference, Mr Choo said that with security threats and attacks increasingly becoming the norm, designing buildings with security in mind will help to save lives.
He cited the recent shooting in Las Vegas, where at least 59 people were killed and more than 500 injured by a gunman, as an example of threats that the public may face.
Mr Choo also spoke of the importance of people development in the built environment sector.
He said a sizeable amount of built environment work still requires manpower, and so having a skilled talent pool - including mature workers - in the sector was essential.
“It will be to our detriment if we ignore the human needs of our workforce in our pursuit of fulfilling our commercial obligations," he said. "We must create flexible work environments that best tap on their best talents."
He added that the sector must continue to evolve and that as the economy transforms, there are great potential growth areas for the industry, for example smart buildings leading to greater energy efficiency and underground developments that require deeper construction to meet land constraints.