SINGAPORE: The global terrorism threat has imposed a cost on Singapore, Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Thursday (Feb 22) when asked to comment on the expected rise in spending for his ministry.
It was announced in the Finance Minister's Budget 2018 speech on Monday that expenditure for home affairs is projected to rise from S$5.8 billion to S$6.5 billion.
“We’ve been talking about the security requirements,” said Mr Shanmugam, who is also Law Minister. “The nature of the terrorist threat, the terrorists, have imposed a cost on not just Singapore, but on all societies which take this seriously.”
“And it’s not just on the Government or taxpayers. For example, last year with the requirements of infrastructure, it also imposed a cost on building owners for example, to harden their buildings.”
He noted that there is added cost for event organisers as well.
"Because now for events of a certain size, you have to have walk-through metal detectors and bag checks. All of this costs money," said the minister.
“So there’s been a cost imposed all around - on event organisers, building owners, citizens. And unfortunately it also means increased cost for taxpayers through increased security services, and demand for security services."
“You’ve seen some of it on the ground,” said Mr Shanmugam. “The Emergency Response troops, the quick-response troops, the boys and girls on motorcycles … And they are patrolling in different places. We need to respond to an attack in any place in Singapore.”
He added: “So the equipment levels are different, the training levels are different, the numbers have to be increased - all of which costs money."