Shanmugam: Forge Bonds Across Racial Lines

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has urged Singaporeans to build bonds across racial lines. He pointed that while a terror attack may not be preventable, the way in which Singaporeans react the day after is controllable. 

Mr Shanmugam said that the terrorists would have won if the attack divides Singaporeans and citizens start “pointing fingers” or targeting any particular racial group or community. He added that being a good citizen cuts across religious lines and called on Singaporeans to build a more integrated society. 

When asked if Singaporeans would rally together after a terror attack as people had done in Paris and London, he said: “My own sense is that by and large, Singaporeans understand that any act (will be that) of isolated extremists, and based on that, I think we will react as a community.”

In his earlier speech to Home Team officers at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority headquarters in Kallang, Mr Shanmugam highlighted the need for law enforcement officers to be trained to handle lone wolf attacks.

He also reiterated the need for people to report any individuals who show signs of radicalisation. In the wake of news about the first female to be detained under the Internal Security Act, Mr Shanmugam said that reporting that someone is radicalized is more beneficial. This is because failing to do so would harm not just society, but one’s loved ones should they choose to take up arms and engage in terror activities. 

Source: “Shanmugam calls for forging of bonds across racial lines” (The Straits Times, 14 June 2017)

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