SINGAPORE: A simulated terror attack took place in the heartlands of Chong Pang on Saturday (May 28) to help familiarise residents on what to do in the event of an attack.
The “scenario drill” saw two gunmen hold four hostages near a coffee-shop, where customers then applied the “Run, Hide, Tell” advisory – which teaches residents to evacuate by the safest route, seek cover and inform authorities once safe.
An Emergency Response Team from the Singapore Police Force, comprising officers specially trained in counter-assault skills, then arrived to engage gunmen and neutralise the situation.
Trained community first-responders then performed improvised first-aid for the injured using cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and automated external defibrillators (AED). Residents of the area were also taught these first-aid skills on the sidelines of the event.
The activities were organised for a revamped Emergency Preparedness Day as part of the national anti-terror movement SG Secure’s “in the Neighbourhood” programme.
Chong Pang is the first of six neighbourhoods to undergo the exercise between May and October this year. Residents in all 89 constituencies will have gone through the drills within the next two years.
EVERY SINGAPOREAN NEEDS TO BE PREPARED: SHANMUGAM
Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, who is also the Member of Parliament for Chong Pang, said that a terrorist attack is a “clear and present threat”.
“You look around the world, around the region – look at the arrests taking place in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, look at the attacks. It's quite clear that there is a threat,” he said.
Speaking to the media on the sidelines of the event, he said Singapore has learnt some lessons from the attacks in Paris and Jakarta, but it is a “constant game of cat and mouse”.
The message behind SG Secure is that every Singaporean needs to be prepared, Mr Shanmugam said.
“The emergency forces will respond, but there will be a few minutes before they come. And even after they come, there will be some need for you to maybe help out.
“It's no longer an idea of 'the police will take care of it', 'SCDF will take care of it' – it's individual responsibility, it's you, it's I, it's each one of us. The message is about every Singaporean taking responsibility. It's not easy. It's going to take time. But we have to do it.”
SINGAPOREANS MUST "STAY UNITED AND STRONG": GRACE FU
The SG Secure movement is a call-to-action for Singaporeans to stay united in times of crisis, said Culture, Community and Youth Minister Grace Fu.
Ms Fu was speaking at a separate event on Saturday - the National Inter-Racial and Religious Confidence Circle Workshop organised by her ministry.
More than 300 participants - including community and religious leaders - discussed topics like how Singapore can strengthen its resilience.
Ms Fu said one way to achieve this is for the government to strengthen communication with the community, and to quash negative emotions or anxiety during times of crises.
She also encouraged religious groups to actively engage youths in building social harmony.
Ms Fu added that through such workshops, the various groups can learn to better manage crises.
"The threat of terrorism on our shores is therefore very real. We must be mentally prepared that an act is no longer a matter of “if”, but “when.” We must be aware of this new reality, and be prepared to meet this challenge," she said.