With the terrorism threat remaining high, Singaporeans must stay vigilant and united.
The world is becoming increasingly unpredictable, with new and emerging dangers. In recent years, we have also seen the proliferation of non-traditional security threats, such as cyber-attacks and misinformation campaigns.
For a small country like Singapore, protecting our people and our home are paramount. A safe and secure home is fundamental to all.
We start from a strong foundation. But in the face of a changing security environment, the Government has had to spend more to thwart new potential threats and strengthen the defence of the country.
The Government remains on high alert for the threat of a terror attack domestically. We are working on all fronts to ensure that we protect our borders and prepare ourselves against potential attacks.
For instance, a multi-biometrics screening system will be progressively deployed at all checkpoints, to enhance checkpoint security.
A new Police Divisional Headquarters in Woodlands is slated for completion soon. And by 2020, approximately 2,000 more officers will be added to the Home Team to cope with Singapore’s future security challenges.
Equally important is the need to increase the resilience of our people. In 2016, MHA launched SGSecure, a national movement to help boost vigilance and prepare our people against potential threats.
We have reached out to more than 250,000 households. The SGSecure app has also been installed on more than a million mobile devices.
We are also ramping up Singapore’s emergency preparedness and readiness to tackle terror threats through the staging of regular counter-terrorism exercises. In 2017, a multi-agency large-scale counter-terrorism drill at Changi Airport was held, involving more than 650 personnel from security agencies and others including Changi Airport Group, SMRT, and the Ministry of Health.
These exercises sharpen the responses of our security agencies and help sensitise residents to the threat of attack.
Cyber Security: A Rising Priority
While defence of our physical borders and security of our country are critical, protecting our infocomm infrastructure is equally important.
To this end, agencies are investing in a range of cyber security systems to protect systems from hostile attacks.
A new 2,600-strong Defence Cyber Organisation (DCO) was established in 2017 to monitor and defend the SAF’s networks against cyber-attacks. Cyber defence was also introduced as a new NS vocation, with selected soldiers to be deployed since August 2017.
Increased Use Of Technology In Operations
But even as we invest heavily to secure our borders and protect our people, we are also aware of the need to remain cost efficient.
That is why we are relying on technology to boost our effectiveness at monitoring for potential threats. For instance, we have expanded the use of police cameras across the island and this has helped create a safer environment for Singaporeans.
For example, more than 65,000 cameras have been installed in neighbourhoods over the past few years. The cameras have provided video footage that has helped solve more than 2,300 cases as of end-2017.
Cameras will be extended to other public areas such as neighbourhood centres and hawker centres.
Singaporeans must not allow hostile elements, foreign or otherwise, to interfere with our way of life and threaten our families. With rising security threats and wider range of threats, we will continue to invest in security to keep Singapore safe.