The police had taken precise measures when they opened fire to kill the driver of the car that crashed through security barriers around the Shangri-La Hotel in May during the Shangri-La Dialogue defence summit, said Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs Minister Teo Chee Hean in parliament today, 13 July.
Mr Teo was responding to MP’s questions on the incident, which left the driver Mohamad Taufik Zahar, 34, dead.
Mohamad Taufik’s two passengers, Mohamed Ismail, 31, and, Muhammad Syahid Mohamed Yasin, 26, were later arrested for drug-related charges, rather than for conducting terrorist acts.
Calling the Dialogue a “prime target for terrorists” which hosted defence ministers and security officials from around the world, Mr Teo defended the action by the police, saying that their actions were limited to the occupants of the vehicle.
He also added that Section 63 of the Criminal Procedure Code permitted the use of force that is proportionate to the threat faced.
“The threat of terrorism is real and present,” he was reported by media as saying. “The police will continue to do their utmost to counter security threats to secure Singapore and protect Singaporeans from those who wish to carry out acts of violence and destruction.”
Mr Teo also cited a 2014 report on terrorism that showed car bombs to be a preferred weapon of choice.
He also noted that that car bombs created much death in the Middle East, and that the Jemaah Islamiyah network planned to use truck bombs to attack embassies, MRT stations and military installations in Singapore ten years ago.
Following the shooting, police and officers from Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Explosives Defence Group (CBRE DG) have searched the vehicle. No explosives, arms or weapons were found in the vehicle, although some substance believed to be drugs were found.
Adapted from media reports.