All Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) personnel are required to download the SGSecure mobile application as part of Singapore’s national counter-terrorism efforts, MINDEF said.
MINDEF’s response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore follows claims from full-time national servicemen (NSFs) that they have been forced to download the app, or face punishment.
The app was given multiple one-star reviews on Apple and Android app stores.
Comments such as “PC said this weekend want to go home then download this app and show him” and “got forced to download this if not I will sign extra”, in reference to punishments such as confinement in camp or extra duties, were left in the reviews.
The app was launched in September 2016 with the aim of sending important alerts during terrorist attacks or other major emergencies. It allows users to seek assistance and provide information to the authorities.
MINDEF said a counter-terrorism training programme designed “to better equip our personnel to be prepared citizens and active respondents in the event of a terrorist attack” is being implemented in phases.
The first phase is to have all their personnel download the SGSecure application and complete the e-learning modules in it.
“Subsequently, MINDEF/SAF personnel will be put through scenario-based community response training to provide them with the knowledge to protect themselves and those around them in the event of a terror attack,” the statement by MINDEF added.