We refer to the letters from Mr Seah Yam Meng (“Airport-like checks at MRT stations an overreaction”, Nov 9 and “Checks at MRT stations not enough to deter terrorists”, Nov 20), Mr Joe Teo Kok Seah (“Comprehensive studies needed before implementing new security measures”, 13 Nov) and the commentary by Senior Transport Correspondent Mr Christopher Tan (“MRT checks: How far should security screenings go?”, Nov 16).
Our public transport system is a key infrastructure serving millions of commuters every day. Since 2004, random bag checks have been conducted by staff of Public Transport Operators at all MRT stations as part of efforts to keep our public transport system safe and secure. These checks are in addition to the regular checks conducted by the Singapore Police Force’s Public Transport Security Command officers within the MRT network.
The Public Transport Security Committee – a multi-agency body that oversees the security of Singapore’s public transport system – constantly reviews security threats and calibrates the security measures accordingly.
The six-month enhanced security trial will allow LTA and public transport operators (PTOs) to fine-tune security operations and develop the capability to step up our response against security threats. It also serves as a deterrence against potential perpetrators and a reminder to commuters to remain vigilant. As security screenings are conducted randomly during the six-month trial, the majority of commuters will not be affected.
LTA and PTOs also conduct regular emergency exercises where all commuters passing through the station will be screened. Two such exercises have already been conducted this year, one at Newton MRT station and the other at Holland Village station. A third exercise will take place on 5 December at Hougang station.
We seek commuters’ understanding and support as we work to keep our public transport system safe and secure for everyone.
Yeo Teck Guan
Senior Group Director, Public Transport
Land Transport Authority