Arthur Lim: Checkpoint breaches, riot inquiry reveal security gaps

The reported breaches at our checkpoints are no laughing matter and should be handled with urgency to prevent more serious consequences (“Man arrested after driving through Woodlands Checkpoint barrier”, March 8).

The latest incident shows the gaps in our security infrastructure. While the January incident was primarily due to errors of judgment on the part of officers on the ground, the latest incident shows that the barriers and equipment in place at the checkpoints could be due for an upgrade. It may be the first time that security barriers failed, but one failure is one too many. Perhaps there should be additional barriers in place.

Meanwhile, the ongoing inquiry into the Little India Riot also shows areas in urgent need of attention. For a start, the protocols in place may be too rigid. They may look good in theory, but when an actual situation arises, it could warrant immediate evaluation by first responders, who may want to act to contain the situation while awaiting backup. The Home Affairs Ministry should stand ready to support its officers on the ground and these officers should not be overly tied down by protocol as the situation evolves.

Our ground forces must be well-equipped and trained, with support from the respective authorities, in order to have the ability to respond effectively.

Arthur Lim

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