“What (extremist organisations) have in common is the goal to intimidate through violence, to create an aura of fear and uncertainty, to disrupt the lives of its target population. But as we did in the 1960s, we must not allow fear to overwhelm us. Singaporeans rallied together to defend all that we owned, and to keep our hopes for a better future alive.”
Warning that the threat of terrorists today has evolved and kept up with technological change, Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, Senior Minister of State for Defence added that extremist groups like the ISIS had taken to social media and the Internet to propagate their twisted ideologies, and attract followers from all over the world.
Dr Maliki who was guest of honour, was speaking at a memorial ceremony on 10 March 2016 to remember the victims of Konfrontasi and those who fought valiantly for the survival of our nation. The ceremony, organized by the SAF Veterans League, was held at the Konfrontasi Memorial opposite The Cathay Building near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station was attended by family members of victims of the MacDonald House bombing, volunteers and SAF Veterans League members.
In his opening address earlier on, President, SAF Veterans League, Brigadier-General (NS) Winston Toh said: “In 1963, President Sukarno of Indonesia launched an armed campaign of Konfrontasi to destroy the Federation of Malaysia of which Singapore was then a part of. For the next three years, Singapore plunged into a period of fear and uncertainty, as saboteurs carried out a series of terror attacks on civilians.”
BG Toh added: “Singaporeans must never forget the impact of Konfrontasi. Like Total Defence Day, which marks the fall of Singapore, Konfrontasi reminds us to never again take our peace and security for granted.” He reminded that in the ongoing fight against terrorism, there is no room for complacency.
He continued: “We need to brace ourselves to respond to an attack on our soil. As many have said, this is no longer a matter of “if” but “when””.
You can read the full text of the speeches by Dr Maliki and BG Toh here.
Pictures from the event are at Photo Gallery.