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Are Singaporeans prepared for a terror attack?

Polls show underwhelming results about the level of preparedness, raising concerns for Singaporeans.

A recent poll by the Sunday times revealed that Singaporeans may not be fully prepared for a terror attack. Four in five Singaporeans were shown to feel unprepared should a terror attack hit our shores.

More than 70% of those surveyed lacked life-saving skills such as first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

The results of the poll showed the following: about half of the respondents knew how to use a fire extinguisher; 30 per cent were trained in first aid, and only 22 per cent were certified to administer CPR or operate an automated external defibrillator (AED).

The more alarming result was that only about 12 per cent of those surveyed knew which number to send an SMS text to (71999) during an emergency, in the event they were unable to call the authorities.

PHOTO: MINDEF

The SGSecure movement has been put in place for just over a year now. This national movement was launched to prepare all Singaporeans in the fight against terror. Their ambition is to train at least one member from every household in Singapore on terror preparedness.

There is also an SGSecure mobile application for smartphones. This allows for better communication between authorities and citizens, to disseminate and report potential dangers.

This would allow for swifter response times from citizens and authorities.

PHOTO: SGSECURE

However, a recent update by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has shown that only 843,000 downloads have been recorded. This figure is relatively minute considering Singapore’s population of over 5 million people.

MHA said that while SGSecure has gained “significant momentum”, more needs to be done. The ministry said it will be increasing its involvement in neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces, to improve citizens’ response in crises.

All things considered, there are some positive takeaways.

Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong has said that Singapore is “psychologically prepared and our multiracial society will not be under catastrophic stress.”

In 2016, the authorities displayed their vigilance when they foiled an attempt by Indonesian terrorists to launch a rocket, aimed at the Marina Bay Sands integrated resorts. They had set up a travel agency in Bintan to provide the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants safe passage for joining them.

PHOTO: PERI

The minister of Law and Home Affairs, K Shanmugam said that it is no longer a matter of “if” these attacks happen, but “when”.

While the recent tragedy in Las Vegas has been deemed to not be an act of terror, the need for vigilance in these trying times is at an all time high.

For more information on how to prepare yourself in the event of a terror attack, you can visit the SGSecure website.

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