Self-radicalised Singaporean a reminder that terrorism threat 'very real and serious': Yaacob

Self-radicalised Singaporean a reminder that terrorism threat 'very real and serious': Yaacob

SINGAPORE: The latest case of the self-radicalised Singaporean woman, who was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), is a "grave reminder" that the threat of terrorism is "very real and serious", said Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim on Monday (Jun 12).

Dr Yaacob, who is also the Minister for Communications and Information, wrote on Facebook that he strongly condemns the extremists who abuse Islam for their own twisted agenda. "They belong to a small group. The overwhelming majority of us utterly reject their theology and distortion of Islam," he added. 

The minister said every time such a case happens, "we are all deeply disappointed and worried that Singaporeans will have doubts about Muslims". 

"Let me say that together with the security agencies, our Muslim community, led by MUIS and other community groups such as the Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG), are striving hard to safeguard our community against extremism, raise vigilance and provide help to those who need it.

"Such efforts include MUIS' refinements to the content in religious classes at mosques, enhancements to the recognition scheme for Islamic religious teachers and resources developed for parents," he wrote.

Dr Yaacob also called on fellow Muslims to not give up. "Instead, let us redouble our efforts to be vigilant against extremist and exclusivist ideologies," he said.

The minister called on members of the public to alert the authorities if they notice suspicious behaviour or signs of radicalisation among family and friends.

He also appealed to Singaporeans to stand united and support one another more strongly, expand the common space used to bond and protect the peace and harmony cherished in Singapore that they call home. 

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean also said on Monday that the recent detention shows that Singapore's security agencies have to be constantly alert to uncover and take firm action against the threat of violent extremism. 

"All communities in Singapore should remain united and support each other and our security agencies in these efforts," Mr Teo, who is acting prime minister while Mr Lee Hsien Loong is on leave, wrote on Facebook.

"While we are not immune from an attack, we must not let those who advocate or seek to commit acts of violent extremism divide us." 

Source: CNA/kk