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Warning system goes beyond terrorism
Tue, Mar 16, 2010
my paper

By KENNY CHEE

ANATIONAL early-threat detection system has had its role expanded beyond scanning for terrorism risks, and has been used in non-traditional security areas.

These areas include the energy and education sectors, said Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security S. Jayakumar yesterday.

The computerised system, called the Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning (Rahs) system, was launched in 2007 to primarily mine and analyse information related to terrorism.

It was also used in other areas like maritime and aviation security.

But, as the capabilities of the system were developed, the Government realised there were other uses for it, said Professor Jayakumar at the opening of the third International Risk Assessment and Horizon Scanning Symposium yesterday.

For instance, he said that the Rahs system and its team had helped the Energy Market Authority to reevaluate and come up with more scenarios to map out key concerns related to Singapore's energy security.

The team also aided the Ministry of Education to review an educational framework called Petals to determine its most impactful aspects, based on the perspectives of students, teachers and principals.

The use of the system goes beyond Singapore boundaries, too, as the Rahs team has also worked with foreign agencies on projects, said Prof Jayakumar.

The National Security Coordination Secretariat was not able to reveal details of the collaborations, but said it has links with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, and "broadbased collaborations" with a community of security agencies globally.

A new multi-million-dollar version of the Rahs system is being developed and a third of it has been completed. Development of this second version began in the third quarter of last year, and it is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

Home-grown firm Simulation Software and Technology is helping to develop the second version.

The new Rahs system will be able to retrieve more accurate and relevant data, plan or mathematically model scenarios being studied, and will be more intuitive to use.

kennyc@sph.com.sg


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