SINGAPORE: Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu on Friday (Mar 8) urged religious organisations to join a new accreditation scheme aimed at preparing places of worship to be ready for any crisis.
The SGSecure Community Network Crisis Preparedness (SGCN) Accreditation Scheme, said Ms Fu, will be launched in the second half of this year.
It will include a checklist and resource guide to help religious organisations improve their crisis response capabilities, said Ms Fu.
"We urge religious organisations to come on board, as we work hand in hand to ensure Singapore remains safe and united in the face of any future crisis," said Ms Fu.
This scheme is a follow-up effort in preparing places of worship to be crisis-ready, said the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY).
To date, MCCY, in partnership with Home Team agencies, has helped prepare more than 800 religious and community leaders from more than 300 religious groups strengthen their skills and knowledge in crisis response.
The aim of the scheme is to make Singapore more resilient to crisis, said MCCY, adding that this can be done by strengthening the religious groups' emergency preparedness, helping them develop crisis response plans and providing training for crisis response skills.
"This scheme also recognises the efforts by religious organisations who have taken active steps to better prepare themselves to handle crises with a racial and/or religious dimension," MCCY said.
To qualify, religious groups will need to complete and analyse a self-assessment toolkit to evaluate their emergency preparedness, train members with emergency response skills as well as conduct regular table-top exercises, said MCCY.
Stressing the importance of a cohesive society, Ms Fu said that it is important for a diverse society such as Singapore's to continue to build mutual trust and understanding.
"We cannot take for granted the harmony we enjoy in Singapore, and the sense of shared future we feel as one people. We need to work constantly at it," she said.