Heightened security for Asean Para Games, and public can help
Minister Fu calls on Singaporeans to play their part to keep Para Games safe
Security for the upcoming Asean Para Games here has been stepped up, and organisers will be working with the various agencies to ensure the athletes, officials, volunteers and spectators are safe during the event, which will be held here from Dec 3 to 9.
"It (Games security) has always been a concern and an area that we are very keen to monitor very closely," said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu, at the Games Uniform Distribution and Accreditation at the Kallang Theatre yesterday.
She was there to meet and interact with the volunteers who turned up to collect their uniforms and passes.
"I would like to remind all Singaporeans to be vigilant, and to flag anything unusual, because it's about deterrence at the community level as well.
"We hope that this will be the best Games for our disabled athletes ever in Singapore."
The eighth biennial Games will feature 15 sports, including track and field and swimming, and will feature around 3,000 athletes and officials. The seven-day multi-sport event will have their competition venues mainly at the Singapore Sports Hub and Kallang areas.
The New Paper understands that the Games' opening and closing ceremonies will be subject to bag checks similar to the SEA Games ceremonies, while security agencies are evaluating the security for the rest of the event.
This comes in the wake of the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris last Friday, when suicide bombers detonated bomb vests outside the Stade de France while a football friendly between France and Germany was ongoing, among other attacks on the same night.
Gunmen also held hostages at a hotel in Mali on Friday, while another football match between Germany and Holland was called off due to a security threat.
Uniform and accreditation pass collection began on Friday and will end at 8pm tonight. Around 1,500 out of 4,300 Games volunteers, dubbed Team Nila, had collected their gear by 1pm yesterday.
Among them were para-equestrian rider Maximillan Tan, 28, and his father David.
The younger Tan competed in the London Paralympic Games in 2012, and has been training towards the Rio Games next year.
He said: "There has been a lot of things going on this year, it being SG50, and we (Tan and his father) actually wanted to be part of the SEA Games in June but we were away for a Paralympic qualifying competition."
"Equestrian is not offered as a sport in the Asean Para Games and this is the closest we can be to being part of the Games," added Tan, who will be a Games Services officer at the Para Games, which Singapore is hosting for the first time.
While Tan's training is mainly based in Europe, he will be doing "maintenance" riding a couple of times a week here so that he doesn't lose his touch, and may compete in Europe in January.
While there are about two months left in the Paralympic equestrian qualifying window, Tan was coy about his chances of making the Rio Games next year.
With a slight smile, he said: "Let's just say that we are quietly confident."
I would like to remind all Singaporeans to be vigilant, and to flag anything unusual, because it’s about deterrence at the community level as well. We hope that this will be the best Games for our disabled athletes ever in Singapore.
— Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu (below left, handing out a volunteer’s pack to one of the volunteers)