July 6 Set up agency to deal with crises

July 6 Set up agency to deal with crises

FORUM LETTER

SINGAPORE - Now that the wind direction has changed, the rains have come and the haze situation is under control in Singapore, many reports have surfaced on how the situation could have been better handled.

It is always easy with the benefit of hindsight to debate what was done right and what was missing during the most critical moments.

The handling of recent crises in Singapore seems to indicate that more effort is needed to map out who is in charge and what immediate action to take during the most critical periods.

Perhaps it is time to set up a national crisis agency to review past crises, project potential scenarios where the gravity of the situation is doubled, and propose plans on what can be done, focusing on actions that can be taken during the most critical moments.

Past crises would include flooding, oil refinery fires, oil spills affecting our beaches, building collapses, MRT breakdowns and financial crises.

Also, shouldn't the private sector be roped in to take action during critical moments? For example, couldn't private companies be activated to engage Indonesian firms to fight the Sumatra fires?

- Liu Fook Thim

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