The SGSecure movement in Singapore will now focus on raising the level of ‘preparedness’ among population to counter threat of terror attacks beside raising public awareness regarding this global menace.
Giving a progress report on SGSecure movement since its launch last year, K Shanmugam, Home Affairs and Law Minister of Singapore said, “While the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) had some success in raising awareness, there is some way to go in ramping up preparedness, in getting people to take ownership and prepare themselves.”
He added, “I think a lot of people are not mentally tuned to preparedness.” The Minister was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an award ceremony to recognise the work of more than 400 officers from the Home Team.
Moreover, SGSecure movement, which aims to train and mobilise people to help prevent and deal with terror attacks, is also getting a new tagline -‘Be Prepared, Our Response Matters’. Its earlier tagline was -‘Not If, But When. Our Response Matters’ when the movement was launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on September 24 last year.
Giving information about SGSecure, the Minister said, “More than 220,000 households have been reached since the initiative started. The big target for the MHA will be to reach one million households, every household, as agencies under the Home Team — which include the police, the Singapore Civil Defence Force, and the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority of Singapore — continue to drive the movement.
In addition to this, police and civil defence officers, together with grassroots volunteers, had knocked on 400,000 doors to try to engage the public on SGSecure.
Moreover, in a year, close to a million devices have been equipped with the SGSecure mobile application. The app allows the authorities to send important alerts to members of the public during major incidents, and lets the public send information to the police via text, pictures or videos should they encounter anything suspicious.
The Home Team has also performed well in raising awareness among the people. It had also worked with the People’s Association to conduct 36 Emergency Preparedness Days in as many constituencies, where grassroots leaders and residents learn how to administer first aid, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) or use the automated external defibrillator.
This activity will be extended to 53 other constituencies to cover the whole of Singapore in the next one-and-a-half months.
The MHA also expects all constituencies to have undergone the Crisis Response Exercise by 2019 which simulates possible events in the community in the aftermath of a terrorist attack. There have been 14 such exercises so far.
For equipping the business sector to face terror threats, a new SGSecure at Workplaces programme was announced on Tuesday, which will see the Manpower Ministry, unions and employers team up with industry associations from five key industries to strengthen the vigilance and resilience of workplaces, and to train workers to respond to a crisis.