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Riot in Little India

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:36 am

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... d-bus.html

I've had to e-mail my family back home to reassure them we weren't in the vicinity and are unaffected.

I think SG needs to consider carefully the cause of the pent-up tensions that triggered this. It's not that hard to see, but I suspect it would be hard to next to impossible to change, as it's so deeply embedded into the local social hierarchy.
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Beeroclock » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:38 am

Quite unexpected to see something like this in Singapore...

We've often noted Serangoon Rd area on a Sunday afternoon/evening is a strange/surreal experience to see so many men hanging around/loitering the streets. I thought of it as just another unique/interesting quirk about Singapore, similar to Lucky Plaza on a Sunday, but now in hindsight can see it's also a very risky situation, as someone said only needing a trigger to ignite. Yes there will be deeper underlying issues to the incident and more facts to come out. Surely there will be serious consequences, but hopefully not to the detriment of Little India area itself. (And those posters, what a strange coincidence the timing!)

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Accident waiting to happen

Postby AngMoG » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:38 am

Apparently what I gather from various news sources happened, in a nutshell:
- Indian's head gets smashed by a bus in a place where there are few traffic lights, lots of vehicles and lots of foreign workers on weekends around 9:23pm (police call time)
- Rioting starts, directed at the bus; smashing windows, etc. Official number is 400 rioters.
- Police and Ambulance initially arriving at the scene get overwhelmed by the mob, several police vehicles and an ambulance burn
- It takes a while to mobilize riot police (partially because this has not happened for a long time), they send 2-3 buses and Gurkhas (when?)
- Situation under control around midnight, 27 people arrested.

The accident, of course, as others pointed out, is only the spark that set it off. The reason is the mistreatment of foreign workers; them being underpaid, badly treated at work, salaries partially withheld, and generally treated like dirt. Something that took me aback initially when I came here comes to mind, that while most other people get ferried around in buses and public transport, construction and gardening workers are ferried around on the back of pick-up trucks.

I doubt that they will address the actual reasons for the riots, but I hope they do at least alleviate the traffic situation in Little India by planting more traffic lights and pedestrian crossings to prevent those kind of traffic accidents. One thing that is for sure is that a couple of rioters that would be made example of have bought themselves a one-way ticket home after serving a couple of years in prison.

If the situation continues like it is, I think it is only a matter of time before something like this happens again.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 10:50 am

I have to say though that these things are very common occurance in Indian cities. A bus driver runs over someone and quickly an angry mob forms and attacks the bus driver and sets it to fire and they also target police vehicles and the police.

The reason this happens there is because in the heat of the moment people take the law in their hands and need a way to vent out their frustration at the system, due to poor law enforcement etc.

But, something like this happening in Singapore? I am completely shocked. I mean, if you just remove the word "Little" from "Little India" from the news article, this wouldn't have surprised me at all, its like boring predictable usual news in India. I still cant believe this happened in Singapore.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:18 am

Have a look at these articles of similar incidents in India, but I dont think 400 people can congrete even in India, in such a short time.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes ... -angry-mob


http://www.dnaindia.com/pune/report-2-t ... us-1915301

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/bus-r ... la/367657/

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:33 am

Wd40 wrote:I have to say though that these things are very common occurance in Indian cities. A bus driver runs over someone and quickly an angry mob forms and attacks the bus driver and sets it to fire and they also target police vehicles and the police.


That was my thought too. I was stuck in traffic last Wednesday in Bangalore (three hours from central Bangalore to Whitefield!) because of this exact instance. A bus ran over a family on a scooter, and the baby died. Apparently this sparked protests and traffic pretty much just shut down.

Of course my thought was immediately "Well this is why you don't put a family of three or four on a 125cc bike..."

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Postby morenangpinay » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:49 am

what happened between the time the person was ran over and before the riot ?no news about that i find it hard to believe an accident will cause 400 people to riot

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:52 am

My guess is the 1st thing they are gonna do is stop so many construction workers congrete in Little India on sundays. It is the right thing to do. I am surprised they allow so many people there on sundays, its really scary to walk on Serangoon road on sundays, I never felt so scared in any part of India.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 11:55 am

morenangpinay wrote:what happened between the time the person was ran over and before the riot ?no news about that i find it hard to believe an accident will cause 400 people to riot


Its called mob fury and I am not surprised. The moment the person was killed, his immediate friends would get angry and start shouting and quickly a huge mob gathers and when you are in a mob you can do anything, the idea is no one will know who exactly did what and everyone thinks the same thing and the result is what happened on sunday.

Here is another example of Mob Fury:

http://newindianexpress.com/states/odis ... e35753.ece

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Postby zzm9980 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:11 pm

Wd40 wrote:My guess is the 1st thing they are gonna do is stop so many construction workers congrete in Little India on sundays. It is the right thing to do. I am surprised they allow so many people there on sundays, its really scary to walk on Serangoon road on sundays, I never felt so scared in any part of India.


I haven't been around there on a Sunday, but I can only imagine. Even East Coast Park is pretty over-run with foreign workers. Lots of other 'hot spots' too like City Plaza and Geylang.

What will the gahmen do? Gurkha patrols? Lock foreign workers in dorms? 20% off in Geylang Vouchers?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:12 pm

Flash mob?

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Postby x9200 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:15 pm

Probably something like this. If I am not mistaken majority of workers that gets there is carried in from the industrial clusters on the lorries and the usual manner (n-pax). Enough to ban it on Sundays within some areas and problem solved.

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Postby Wd40 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:17 pm

zzm9980 wrote:
Wd40 wrote:My guess is the 1st thing they are gonna do is stop so many construction workers congrete in Little India on sundays. It is the right thing to do. I am surprised they allow so many people there on sundays, its really scary to walk on Serangoon road on sundays, I never felt so scared in any part of India.


I haven't been around there on a Sunday, but I can only imagine. Even East Coast Park is pretty over-run with foreign workers. Lots of other 'hot spots' too like City Plaza and Geylang.

What will the gahmen do? Gurkha patrols? Lock foreign workers in dorms? 20% off in Geylang Vouchers?


I believe these people are transported by their companies to Little India on Sunday? I dont think they use public transport do they?

Just order these construction companies to stop bringing them to Little India on Sundays and instead supply them with Knockout or Kingfisher to their dormitories. Problem solved :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:26 pm

Wd40, they already do that. I work smack in the middle of an industrial estate and am surrounded by FW dormatories. Monday mornings the number of Kingfisher bottles by the curbs are astounding, but even though I've work late on Saturdays and often on Sundays, I've never had a problem with any of them. The problem isn't the workers, per se, but the way they have been treated. Now all they need are triggers.

Singaporeans are fixin' to reap what they have sown if they aren't careful. Instigators? Nah. Just people who are fed up with being treated like subhumans. I can't blame them. Add a little alcohol to dull the senses and add a trigger, voila! Riot.

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Postby JR8 » Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:32 pm

Wd40 wrote:My guess is the 1st thing they are gonna do is stop so many construction workers congrete in Little India on sundays. It is the right thing to do. I am surprised they allow so many people there on sundays, its really scary to walk on Serangoon road on sundays, I never felt so scared in any part of India.


So you'd have sort of internal immigration checks and barriers to stop Indians going to Little India? Hmmm ...

I can't say I've ever felt scared in the slightest, anywhere in Singapore, and certainly not in Little India, where I spent a month+ in a Serviced Apartment right by Mustafa.

[In India itself, yes once or twice. Three times in fact, Varanasi, Calcutta, and Bombay where in each we got attempts to entrap us in scams or drugs etc. In the rest of our 3.5 month sub-continental circumnavigation I don't recall any notable issues at all. Probably no different experience for a couple of teenagers roving around any other continent, I'd have thought. ].

p.s. @SMS's previous. That's it precisely, and the government ignore, minimise it, or gloss over it at their peril.
Last edited by JR8 on Mon, 09 Dec 2013 12:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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