Best defence against terrorism

October 20, 2014

LAST year, the Singapore Kindness Movement started supporting an initiative called Let’s Makan, to encourage Singaporeans and other residents to get to know those around them.

When I read last Saturday’s editorial (“Terror test for Singapore again”), I wondered if the neighbourliness we are trying to encourage is a good starting point for building up vigilance against radicalism in our midst.

The best defence against terrorism is a strong, united people who feel committed to Singapore and trust their fellow men.

This nation of kindness we are fostering should be an inclusive one that does not alienate people based on their religion, the colour of their skin or where they come from – in other words, a cohesive community that can strengthen our social fabric.

Such an ideal society starts with each of us reaching out to one another, starting within our homes and families, extending outwards to immediate neighbours, and further out into our broader social and work circles.

When we have affinity with one another and feel a sense of belonging, we are less likely to be influenced by insidious, radicalised teachings of any sort.

At the same time, getting to know our immediate neighbours and showing concern for those close to us would give us a better chance of noticing any unusual changes in them.

A close-knit community, filled with the kampung spirit, has a better chance of detecting strangers in the community, and clandestine activities are more likely to be nipped in the bud.

Dr William Wan
General Secretary
Singapore Kindness Movement

First published in The Straits Times – October 18, 2014

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