Overseas protest training for the police?

Member of Parliament Sylvia Lim suggested that peaceful protests be allowed so that the Singapore Police Force and Special Operations Command can practise their skills. (“No need to allow protests to give S.O.C. practice: Teo”; July 8)

I would propose that we send our police officers to neighbouring countries to assist in controlling their protests instead. This achieves the purpose of practical training without the downsides of protests: Economic and social disruption as well as a fall in productivity.

I have encountered incidents in which officers of government agencies seemed unwilling to perform their duties, pushing the job to other agencies or private contractors.

For example, during the inaugural Kranji Countryside Farmers’ Market, which saw large crowds, a traffic policeman on the site told me he was unable to assist in directing the busy traffic and that I should call Certis Cisco. Surely, some of our taxes are used to pay for such services and officers should be more willing to help, especially if they are on site and have the necessary skills.

In the absence of public protests here, real-life experience in other countries could give officers opportunities to improve their knowledge. This would increase our forces’ readiness to do their jobs as protectors, instead of waiting for a big attack from an enemy.

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