'Terror' strikes home

'Terror' strikes home

SINGAPORE - A blast sends shock waves outside Plaza Singapura. A car bursts into flames, filling the morning sky with thick, black smoke.

Hours later, gunmen storm Biopolis at One-North. A suicide bomber strikes. An explosion rocks the open plaza at Singapore Land Tower in the heart of town.

These are scenes of chaos and anarchy you would not want to see.

Still, we need to brace ourselves for the worse. Is Singapore prepared for such acts of terror? Yes, going by how the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and police officers from the Special Operations Command reacted.

Officers involved in on Monday's exercise were at the scene of the three "incidents" within minutes. The annual anti-terror exercise by the Singapore Police Force involved the SCDF and staff from 12 buildings under the Safety and Security Watch Group (SSWG), including Plaza Singapura and Concorde Hotel Singapore.

Code-named Exercise Heartbeat, which is into its fifth year, it also involved about 6,300 workers from the SSWG buildings.

Blanks were fired and special effects used to simulate the terror attacks.

The exercise is aimed at enhancing safety and security preparedness at various locations. It also tests the joint response of the Home Team and the SSWG.

And it all seemed to have gone according to plan, with the exercise watched by, among others, Mr Edwin Tong, deputy chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Home Affairs and Law, and Member of Parliament for Moulmein- Kallang GRC.

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