THE most senior government leader overseeing security yesterday made clear that Singapore remains under threat from extremist groups.

The threat environment has not improved in the last five years, Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security S Jayakumar said yesterday.

The Republic has been very lucky not to have been attacked thus far, he said at a press interview to wrap up his five years as security chief. He hands over the portfolio to Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng on Monday.

'We have been vigilant,' Prof Jayakumar said, 'and have picked up individuals who meant us harm, but our objective assessment is that extremist groups are still active in the region. Do not believe that the threat has diminished or gone away.'

His top two worries are that complacency and security fatigue could set in, and that Singapore would struggle to bounce back as a nation should a terror attack take place.

'For us, the consequences of a terrorist attack are not only loss of lives and impact on our economy - we must not allow terrorists to undermine our racial harmony and social fabric,' he said.

S'pore still under threat