Dr Omer Ali Saifudeen, SUSS Public Safety and Security (PSS) Senior Lecturer, PSS students, and attendees posing for a photo with Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, at the ACG Youth Forum 2022.
A group of students from SUSS Public Safety and Security (PSS) programme participated in the Inter-Agency Aftercare Group (ACG) Youth Forum held at the Singapore Management University Auditorium on 19 November 2022. The objective of this forum was to engage in constructive dialogue with youths to stand against radicalism and extremist ideology, through mutual understanding, social harmony and cohesion.
The Inter-Agency Aftercare Group, comprising of the Association of Muslim Professional (AMP) Singapore, Yayasan MENDAKI, Taman Bacaan and Khadijah Mosque, is a network of organisations aimed at providing families of individuals detained for radicalisation-related issues with social and financial assistance while their loved ones undergo rehabilitation. The ACG Youth Forum is organised annually and aims to empower youths to play a more active role in guarding against the threat of terrorism and radicalisation in Singapore.
Aaron Koh, Year 3 PSS student, posing a question to Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and ACG leaders in a dialogue session held during the forum.
The event was graced by the Minister of State for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, who engaged attendees of the dialogue session and provided an enriching experience for the PSS students.
At the forum, Dr Md Badrun Nafis Saion, Chairman of AMP Singapore, stated that the threat of terror is ongoing, and it is important for everyone to be equipped with accurate knowledge and information, especially when using social media. He expressed, “Anyone with an Internet connection and time on their hands can easily access unfavourable content, and without the right skills or knowledge, they can fall victim to the ideologies purported by the people behind this content. We must also learn to celebrate our differences and cultivate better understanding among one another to create a safe and secure Singapore.”
PSS students had the opportunity to listen to industry experts from the Singapore Internal Security Department (ISD) who explained the need for all to play a part in countering extremist ideology and exclusivism in Singapore.
PSS students took part in breakout discussions on extremist ideology and exclusivism with attendees from other institutions during the forum and presented their insights.
The students also broke out into discussion groups and explored topics relating to social cohesion, exclusivism and extremist ideology with students from other institutions and presented their views to Dr Faishal and the ACG leaders during the forum.
Charlotte Yang, Year 3 PSS student, found the forum interesting and empowering, especially for youths. She shared, “To me, the government body has two ways to tackle extremism; through grassroots efforts or by drafting and implementing policies. They require the help of laypeople, and especially youths like myself to help maintain social cohesion. This forum is a reminder of our empowerment and that we are essential in preventing extremism.”
In a Facebook post after the event, Dr Faishal urged all Singaporeans to continue working together in the fight against terrorism and expressed, “Everyone has a role to play in keeping Singapore safe. As a society we can look out for one another, and report suspected cases of radicalisation early. Early reporting enables an individual, who is at risk of becoming radicalised, to be given proper guidance and counselling and may not need to be severely dealt with under the law.”