Lack of spontaneity is the only downside to any such exercises.
However, Singaporeans are also quick to point out the shortcomings.
One Singaporean, Bu Jing Ya, said: “Such planned terror attack exercises have their downsides as they generally lack elements of surprise and spontaneity — hallmarks of real-life scenarios.”
“Maybe they should try to keep everyone participating in the exercise in the dark about when it is exactly going to occur. This will help promote spontaneity in terms of responses and will help fully test all areas of capabilities.”
Other locals said more can be done to ensure terror attack exercises achieve their objective.
Another local, Tu Run, said: “For example, holding it on a public holiday without advanced warning would totally catch everybody off-guard.”
“That would then be really surprising and test everyone’s preparedness with a sense of realism.”
“What’s the worst thing that can possibly happen? People will actually be alarmed?”
“But isn’t that the point?”