All but one of the workers was deported back to Bangladesh last month. The remaining individual was arrested trying to leave the country illegally and is currently serving a 12-week jail term.
The men were participating in a closed religious study group which had met weekly since 2013 and were employed by several companies.
“They were plotting nefarious activities in Bangladesh and other countries, and not in Singapore. But they were still a serious threat to us,” Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
said in a Facebook post.
For HR, this brings back a reminder to be vigilante and prepare for terrorist acts in the workplace.
“Workplaces are good targets for terrorist acts because they are consistent gathering places of many people at once,” Xpert HR legal editor Ashley Shaw told HRD
“Workplaces should be prepared by teaching employees how to handle bomb threats, recognise suspicious packages, report unusual behaviour and successfully evacuate buildings. Crisis Management Teams should also be instituted before any crisis takes place.”
In response to the arrests, Singapore employers have called for a reasoned reaction saying that Bangladeshis are still needed.
“It cannot be that we stop hiring them because of just one case,” Annie Gan, managing director of Jian Huang Construction told The Straits Times
. “What is important is that companies continue to look after the welfare of their workers so that they feel [that they are] a part of the company and Singapore.”
Thomas Chua, president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, told The Straits Times
that it is imperative for employers to integrate their employees properly into the workforce “regardless of the country of their origin” to reduce the chance of this kind of event from occurring.
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Twenty-seven Bangladeshi construction workers have been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for planning terror attacks in their home country. The operation is the largest terror crackdown to occur in Singapore in the past 15 years.