Singapore should learn from Malaysia to prevent terrorist attack

The Paris attack on 13 Nov has once again raised the spectre of a terrorist attack on Singaporean soil. Almost as if in response to those attacks, the government staged an anti-terrorist exercise codenamed Exercise Heartbeat. But honestly, in this area, Singapore is way behind our neighbour up north.

Malaysia has the best practices in place to ensure that any possible terrorist attack in Malaysia would be destined to fail. As early as July 2011, eminent scholars have compiled a list of 10 reasons why a terrorist attack on Malaysia will never succeed. The list, which was written by Shirley Mohan can also be found here, is as follows:

1. Terrorist decides to blow up KLCC. He drives to KLCC with the intention of planting the bomb there, gets stuck in a 2-hour jam, and blows himself up in frustration. PLAN FAIL.

2. Terrorist decides to bomb Ipoh as a practice session before targeting KL. He drives for the first time on the highway to Ipoh trusting the signboards to get him there, and ends up in Lumut. Terrorist drowns himself in the sea in frustration. PLAN FAIL.

3. Terrorist decides to blow up Puduraya. While walking to his destination, the bag in which he keeps his bombs gets snatched by snatch thieves on a motorcycle. He pulls on his bag’s strap desperately and dies after being dragged 100m on the road. PLAN FAIL.

4. Terrorist decides to blow up Port Klang. He succeeds!! But the next day The Star, NST, Berita Harian and Utusan publish an article on page 10 headlined “Boy playing with fireworks injured in minor explosion.” PLAN FAIL.

5. Terrorist decides to bomb Johor Bahru. He rents a house as headquarters and the night before the dastardly deed, three men with parangs break into his house, robs him and kills him. PLAN FAIL.

6. Terrorist decides to bomb Kedah to paralyze the rice bowl of Malaysia. That night, while secretly setting up the bomb during a heavy thunderstorm (so that no one sees him), Timah Tasoh Dam hits danger level, authorities open the dam gates and he is swept away in the floods. PLAN FAIL.

7. Terrorist decides to blow up Bukit Bintang. Upon arrival at destination, he is accosted by a pimp and spends the night in the arms of a beautiful woman. At dawn, authorities raid the place and arrest him. PLAN FAIL.

8. Terrorist decides to blow up the MACC building as he is a strong advocate of corruption. He enters the building, but before he manages to plant his bomb, he is found dead after a fall from the 14th floor window. PLAN FAIL.

9. Terrorist decides to blow up Serdang Hospital. He enters the hospital lobby, hears a loud crashing sound and looks up to see the ceiling collapsing on him. He dies. PLAN FAIL.

10. Terrorist decides to blow up Genting Highlands. On the way up the mountain, a speeding bus driven by a 18-year-old boy without a driving licence crashes into his car and kills him instantly. PLAN FAIL.


Singapore would do well to learn from our friendly neighbour up north. Because the threat of a terrorist attack in Singapore is real. Even though we hope it doesn’t happen, we need to stay ever vigilant and prepare ourselves as well as possible. Stay safe, everyone!

[Featured image: ST photo by Yeo Kai Wen]


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