Tuesday, December 10, 2013
On Sunday evening, the first riot in Singapore in more than 40 years occurred in Little India. The incident has left the country shell-shocked as 18 people, including some Singapore Police Force officers and Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel, were injured and 5 police vehicles were burnt in the incident.
Information has been sparse so far with the only confirmation been that the incident spontaneously happened after a fatal traffic accident at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road. A private bus knocked down and killed a foreign worker and the incident was sparked off from there.
A lot of comment has been given because of this incident. Some have commented on the rising tension in the city between locals and foreigners. Some have commented on the bad working conditions foreigners have in Singapore. Others have blame alcoholism with the government blaming all alcohol sale in Little India this coming weekend.
Frankly, I think everyone need to hold off on having any knee-jerked reactions to this incident. The incident just happened, information is sparse and the investigation is on-going. More importantly, the riot seen to occur spontaneously on its own. So I believe Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's decision to convene a Committee of Inquiry to look into the root cause of the riot in Little India is the right thing to do.
The committee will look into the factors that led to the incident, how the incident was handled on the ground, and why it happened. Everyone should wait for the committee to finish their investigation before shouting on what should be done to prevent any further incident.