30 December 2019
The increase in piracy attempts in the Singapore Strait is a cause for concern as terrorists could exploit the same loopholes to wreak havoc, say security experts.
Government officials have also called for greater collaboration with regional neighbours to address the threat.
A string of attempts last week brought the total number of recorded piracy incidents in the Singapore Strait this year to 30 – well up on the eight incidents in both the straits of Malacca and Singapore last year, nine in 2017 and only two in 2016.
Experts told The Straits Times that this trend could potentially lead to a terrorist attack.
“Everyone talks about the climate threat affecting the East Coast area, but another threat to the coastal areas of Singapore is actually maritime terrorism,” said security expert Bilveer Singh from the National University of Singapore’s political science department.
“Imagine if terrorists take over a ship, sail by and fire long-range artillery at our business district or even housing estates. It would send shock waves through the region and globally.”
“Maritime terrorists can exploit the same gaps, loopholes and weaknesses that are exploited by pirates, but the threat is much more severe when it comes to terrorism,” he said. “A pirate steals things from ships and maybe kidnaps people, but a terrorist wreaks havoc and causes more widespread damage and destruction.”
CENS / RSIS / Online
Last updated on 30/12/2019