Strengthening resilience one of the ways to combat evolving terrorism threats: DPM Teo Chee Hean

Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean has urged the business community and the public to work more closely with the government to fight terrorism.

Noting that terrorists constantly adapt their tactics, he said tighter partnership is needed to boost capabilities, responses and resilience to evolving threats.

Mr Teo, who is also Home Affairs Minister, was speaking today at an event that recognises the security efforts of the business community.

In 2003, the Singapore Police Force mooted the Security Watch Group scheme, which was later renamed the Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG) scheme.

The scheme allows police officers to engage the business communities on safety and security matters.

In October this year, the police and Singapore Civil Defence Force jointly conducted drills involving mock terrorist attacks.

Some of the drills were held in crowded areas such as ION Orchard, as well as industrial areas like Sungei Kadut.

The drills involved members of the watch group, and helped enhance their preparedness against such attacks.

He said it's vital to be prepared for the worst, and for the community to respond effectively to minimise deaths and injuries and damage to property.

He commended the progress made, and he urged all to keep up the good work:

"The battle against terrorism is not just a physical battle, but also a psychological one. We must prepare ourselves mentally, so that we can recover quickly from an attack, and not let it affect the social harmony which we have built up over many decades. This is only possible if we have built strong, trusted networks over time."

The National SSWG Award was introduced in 2009 to recognise the efforts of members in the areas of safety and security.

It also aims to encourage management and staff of buildings to be involved in SSWG activities.

This year, a total of 189 members attained the SSWG awards.