A bomb attack in Singapore could spark unrest, says Goh

SINGAPORE: A bomb attack on ethnically diverse Singapore might spark racial unrest, Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong warned yesterday as he called for stronger bonds among the city-state’s Chinese, Malay and Indian communities. 

Speaking at the opening of a mosque, Goh urged Singapore’s Malay Muslim community to guard against the creeping of Islamic militancy into their ranks. 

Singapore authorities have detained 31 men suspected to belong to the regional terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) for an alleged plot to blow up foreign missions and water pipelines here. 

The group, linked to Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terror network, has been blamed for the Oct 12 bombings in the Indonesia resort island of Bali in which more than 190 people were killed. 

Singaporeans should not take for granted their racial harmony – a bedrock of the country’s economic success –and must strive to continually strengthen ethnic bonds, Goh said. 

“If al-Qaeda or JI ever succeeds in blowing up even one target in Singapore, this might spark racial tensions, and perhaps even unrest,” he added. 

Goh said the local Muslim community “must be on guard against those who preach extremism and hatred. 

“You must prevent your young from falling prey to deviant teachings.” – AFP  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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