While Singapore's security agencies continue to watch over key installations, they cannot be everywhere to protect the "soft targets" that terrorists are increasingly eyeing, like schools and shopping centres, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said yesterday.
So Singaporeans must be more "security conscious" and be more aware of their surroundings, looking out for suspicious objects or persons.
They can then know how to respond and even take some "important actions to contain and mitigate the consequences of an attack" so that the attacker cannot carry out everything he wanted to do and thus reduce the damage.
"These are important critical moments, sometimes even before the security forces can arrive," said DPM Teo, who is also the Coordinating Minister for National Security.
He was speaking to reporters after visiting citizen soldiers deployed to patrol Jurong Island. He was accompanied by Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung, army chief Melvyn Ong and senior army officers.
Operationally-ready national servicemen from the 811th Singapore Infantry Battalion are among the troops who have been keeping watch at key installations round the clock since 2001. Other such installations include Changi Airport and Sembawang Wharves.
DPM Teo's comments come on the back of fresh warnings about possible terror plots in South-east Asian countries like Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.
Singapore takes these intelligence reports seriously and is monitoring the situation, DPM Teo said.
This article was first published on Feb 23, 2016.
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