Incidents like the terrorist attack on a Christmas market in Berlin show that Singapore cannot be complacent, said Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob yesterday.
Building strong community ties is important to guard against such tragedies, she added.
“Before we ever reach such a situation, if we do, we must be sure that we build a very strong foundation,” she said.
Twelve people were killed in Monday’s attack – for which the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria terror group claimed responsibility – when a truck was driven into a Christmas market.
“It is really, really sad, and it is really not reflective of what Islam is all about,” said Madam Halimah.
She was replying to a question from the media at Toys Carnival @ Marsiling, a Christmas celebration for needy children from Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC, where she is a grassroots adviser.
It was the second time this year that a truck was used as a terrorist weapon targeting large crowds.
On July 14, 86 people were killed after they were run over by a truck in Nice on Bastille Day, the French national holiday.
Madam Halimah said events such as Toys Carnival @ Marsiling, in which families of all races take part, are key to fostering ties. “These are the platforms that we must consciously create to develop strong community bonding… It is not possible to legislate harmony, but we can build harmony.”
Now in its second year, the annual event brought festive cheer to around 150 children on the morning of Christmas Eve.