DPM Teo: Singapore's approach to safety and security underpinned by Robust Laws, Effective Enforcement, and Strong Community Partnerships
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean says Singapore's approach to safety and security is underpinned by three pillars - Robust Laws, Effective Enforcement, and Strong Community Partnerships.
Mr Teo, who's also Home Affairs Minister, says this comprehensive approach allows the country to tackle issues both upstream and downstream.
He was speaking in Parliament during the Committee of Supply debate for his ministry.
Outlining the range of challenges faced by the Home Team, Mr Teo first touched on terrorism and the implications for Singapore.
He explained that the terrorist threat remains a persistent one, both globally and regionally.
He added that Singapore is also concerned by terrorist elements' growing use of social media to spread propaganda and recruit new radicals.
Mr Teo says with Singapore's high Internet penetration especially among youths, there is a need to inoculate the young from coming under the influence of radical ideology and this is even more critical given that it was not easy to de-radicalise a person once he had imbibed terrorist ideology.
One example was a former detainee Abdul Basheer Abdul Kader who was a self-radicalised individual.
Mr Teo told the House that he was detained from 2007 to 2010 as he had made specific plans to pursue militant jihad in Afghanistan.
After his release in February 2010, he initially made some progress in re-integrating into society.
However, while under the Internal Security Act (ISA) post-release supervision regime, he was detected to have reverted to his past interest in undertaking militant jihad abroad.
He even made enquiries as to how he could leave Singapore, illegally if necessary, to pursue his jihad plans.
The Internal Security Department re-arrested him in September last year and placed him under detention the following month, to prevent him from pursuing his violent agenda.
Mr Teo said another challenge is cyber-security.
To build up domestic defences against potential attacks, the ministry will set up a Cyber Security Lab by 2014.
It will provide a safe and realistic hands-on platform for participants to hone their skills in countering cyber attacks.
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