PM Lee Says No Easy Solutions to Fight Terrorism

There are no easy solutions to the threat of terrorism, says Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Speaking at a Group of 20 (G20) Leaders' Summit working dinner in Turkey on Sunday night (15 Nov), he said this is “a transnational problem” where “no country can defeat this international threat alone".

He added, "we will raise the security bar for the terrorists and leave them in no doubt that they are up against a formidable coalition of countries that are determined to stop them".

The issue of extremism has taken centrestage at the traditionally economic summit of the G20 after deadly attacks were carried out in Paris last Friday (13 Nov).

As a multiracial society, Singapore will face not only physical damage and the loss of life, but also psychological and emotional damage to its social harmony and cohesion in the event of a terrorist attack.

PM Lee noted that Southeast Asia has been a key recruiting ground for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), so much so that there are enough people from the region, including a few from Singapore, who have formed a battalion.

"We cannot avoid this problem, much less solve it by hiding or by keeping silent, hoping that the scourge will pass us by, on the other side," he said.

On our efforts to combat terrorism, he said Singapore has been part of an international coalition against ISIS, and have deployed a KC-135 refuelling tanker and an Image Analysis Team. Security agencies share intelligence with their foreign counterparts, and border security has been strengthened. 

Since the 9/11 terror attacks, Singapore has also detained about 70 people for terrorism-related actions. About three quarters have been rehabilitated and released. "Other than a handful, none have relapsed," PM Lee said. "I think it can be said to be a reasonably successful rehabilitation effort."

What more can Singapore do to combat terrorism? Share your thoughts with us!

Source: “G-20: No easy solutions to fight terrorism, world leaders must stand in solidarity, says PM Lee” (The Straits Times, 16 Nov 2015)

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