SINGAPORE (Feb 18): The Singapore government has committed to invest some $15.5 billion – which is equivalent to about 30% of its total expenditure this year – to support the city state’s defence, security and diplomacy efforts.

“This spending is significant, but indispensable. We will invest more, if the need arises, to protect the sovereignty of Singapore and the well-being of Singaporeans,” says Finance Minister Heng Swee Keat.

During his Singapore Budget speech this afternoon, Heng highlights how the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) is intending to set up a Home Team Science & Technology Agency by the end of this year with the aim of developing science and technology capabilities to support the Home Team’s operational needs.

These capabilities will strengthen the Home Team’s ability to carry out its mission of safeguarding Singapore, he adds. 

This comes against the backdrop of high levels of terrorism threats faced by Singapore, growing malicious cyber activities, and the possibility of foreign actors continuing to influence Singapore’s domestic affairs and policies.

On a national level, he says the government intends to “plan long-term and take measures” including stockpiling critical supplies; diversifying Singapore’s sources of water supply, and strengthening its food security.

“To stay ahead of these threats, we must continue to innovate and build new capabilities to meet our security needs. Both the public and private sectors have a major role to play… Everyone has a role to keep Singapore safe and secure. Let us continue to stay united in defending our home and way of life," says Heng.