10 May 2012, 9.39AM
In this era of uncertainty with international and regional terrorism on the rise, targetting innocent civilians, no one knows when such a situation can befell us.
Although complacency may be present in some segments of our society, there is no way we can forestall such a dastardly act, should it happen in our midst.
Lately, a spy from the American CIA infiltrated into a terrorist outfit and came out with stunning information about the plans to carry out acts of mass destruction around America and maybe the other parts of the world.
It may be possible that Singapore is prepared for such an eventuality and have people standing by to assist but this may not be enough.
The Hotel New World Collapse caught many people by surprise. Many civilians rushed to help. Even skilled tunnel engineers came to the rescue.
I wish to state that there are many skilled people among us (besides the police and civil defence), who are trained in dealing with acts of terrorism. One good and seldom thought of group are the many security officers on duty at vital installations. These people are properly trained and carefully assessed before they are certified by the SIRD (police establishment) and allowed to perform their duties.
This are the people that the authorities should concentrate on for such assistance. These security officers are given passes that show who they are. However, sadly, more often then not they are not taken into consideration. What may be the possible reasons is something beyond my understanding.
Just look at the many security officers deployed at the Airport Logistics Park ((ALPs). They guard vital installations and are NOT allowed to enter the "off-limits" of Changi Airport unless they change to Airport passes at the Passes Office which is manned by Malaysian uniformed people from Aetos, Certis Cisco and SATs.
On the other hand, workers working as cargo and baggage handlers by the many Logistics cmpanies are allowed to enter and exit the Airport "off-limit" areas because they are given permanent passes.
In the event of an emergency, who is the better candidate to assist the authorities. Surely the SIRD-certified ones and NOT the baggage and cargo handlers.
I hope the SIRD, Department of Civil Aviation and Changi Airort Group people will consider these suggestion and take immediate action to have these "forgotten" lot taken into consideration.