Acts of extremism aim to harm what is most precious to our society which is the mutual trust and cohesion between communities.
Hence it is so important to guard the mutual trust and cohesion that we enjoy today with zeal and to continue to strengthen them.
Should a terrorist attack take place, terrorists will be aiming not only to hurt people, but to divide Singaporeans as well, PM Lee said on Sunday 19 March.
“The stronger our kampong spirit, the less able terrorists will be to break us,” he said at the Emergency Preparedness day in his ward at Teck Ghee.
This is why it is so important for Singaporeans to get to know their neighbours, make friends with people of other races.
Every little act counts, from holding the lift door open to offering snacks to others.
Strengthening community bonds is our way to thwart the menace of terrorism.
To this end, PA, with its network of 1800 grassroots organizations managed by volunteers plays a tremendous role.
There are some 38,000 grassroots volunteers.
Through their involvement in the GROs (grassroots organizations), these volunteers help to build bridges, bringing people of different backgrounds together by organizing a wide range of programmes for residents to meet and interact, encouraging community involvement, raising awareness of community issues, helping those in need so as to strengthen racial harmony and social cohesion in our community.
It is not difficult to see that grassroots volunteers play a big part in nation building.
We would like to place on record our deep appreciation to volunteers who, out of the willingness of their heart, selflessly give of their time, talent and resources to help our residents and the less fortunate amongst us, building up a sense of neighbourliness and care for one another, all to strengthen the community spirit, and not expecting anything in return.
– People’s Association
GRASSROOTS VOLUNTEERS UNITE, WP DIVIDES
While these volunteers work to unify people, Workers’ Party, for their own political agenda, chose to launch their attack on these volunteers to divide Singaporeans by focusing on the little perks offered to these volunteers, perks which many do not take anyway despite their many hours of sacrifice. What they are trying to do is to sow the seeds of envy. Sad really.
GRASSROOTS LEADERS AND VOLUNTEERS TO BE EQUIPPED WITH KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS TO HELP RESIDENTS OVERCOME THE PSYCHOLOGICAL TRAUMA OF A TERRORIST ATTACK
And now, in a new initiative announced by PM Lee Hsien Loong, these grassroots volunteers will play a role in psychological and emotional recovery in the event of a terrorist attack.
The “Human Emergency Assistance and Response Team” (HEART) comprising psychologists and counsellors from the Home Team, the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and the Institute of Mental Health will train volunteers in psychological first aid.
The government has stepped up its outreach to raise awareness of the terror threats and to prepare residents to respond effectively in the event of an attack.
PA, as an arm of the government, and their thousands of volunteers play an important role to achieve this. As they have done in the past to help forge ‘one people, one nation, one Singapore’, they will continue to play this role in bringing people together.
It is time that Workers’ Party put away their political agenda and stop politicizing PA and their volunteers.
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