Accident triggers foreign worker riot in Singapore

Hundreds of South Asian workers rioted in Singapore late Sunday after being enraged by a fatal road accident, leaving 18 people injured and police vehicles burnt in the city-state's worst outbreak of violence in more than 40 years.

A police statement said the disturbance started in the congested Little India district when a 33-year-old Indian man was killed after being hit by a private bus.

Police said about 400 people on the scene began rioting, attacking the bus as well as police vehicles after officers responded to reports of a commotion.

Ten policemen, four civil defence staff and the bus driver and conductor were among the injured, but none were seriously hurt, officials said.

A total of 27 South Asian workers were arrested on charges of rioting, which is punishable by up to seven years in prison plus caning, police said.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in a statement that "whatever events may have sparked the rioting, there is no excuse for such violent, destructive, and criminal behaviour."

"We will spare no effort to identify the culprits and deal with them with the full force of the law," he added.

Five vehicles including three police cars and a civil defence ambulance were burnt while pictures and videos posted in social media showed two police cars being overturned by a cheering mob. Several private vehicles were also damaged in the fracas.

The situation was brought under control after the elite Special Operations Command and Gurkhas working for the police arrived on the scene.

The rare outbreak of public disorder in strictly governed Singapore took place in an area normally packed with thousands of workers, mostly from the Indian subcontinent, on their day off.

"Let me say that the incident that happened last night is intolerable. Rioting, destruction of property, it is not the Singapore way," Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee said at a news conference in the early hours of Monday morning.

State-linked broadcaster MediaCorp said it was the first riot in Singapore since racial disturbances in 1969.

Singapore depends heavily on guest workers, with labourers from South Asia dominating sectors like construction. Many congregate in Little India on Sundays to shop, dine and drink.

The incident immediately triggered online attacks on foreign workers in Singapore, but officials called for calm and warned against speculation.

Anyone who is found to be armed in a riot or using objects as weapons that can cause death can be jailed up to 10 years with the possibility of caning, a punishment reserved for serious crimes.

  • Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors 12 hours ago
    Treasure trove of British newsreels reveals Top Gear's ancestors

    Long after television grew to dominate American and British homes, newsreel producer British Pathé kept at it, documenting the news of the day until finally ceasing production of new short films in 1970 after 60 years of effort. Last week, all of British Pathé's 85,000 films were put online — including dozens of fascinating, rare and often weird car films that resemble nothing so much as a jet-age Top Gear.

  • Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete 13 hours ago
    Nissan tests self-cleaning paint that could make car washes obsolete

    During this vile, never-ending winter, motorists had three options to keep their cars clean: Shell out on regular car washes; slave away in the cold, wind and snow washing it yourself, or screw it and just drive a dirty car. I, like many, chose the last option. But if only I'd been able to test Nissan's self-cleaning car, all my troubles would have washed away.

  • Popular hot yoga myths debunked 20 hours ago
    Popular hot yoga myths debunked

    What’s the hottest new workout taking the world by storm? That would be hot yoga, also known as Bikram yoga. Conducted in a heated room with sweltering temperatures of about 40°C (or approximately 104° Fahrenheit) and 40 per cent humidity, … Continue reading →

  • Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern
    Photo of a very thin Lee Kuan Yew sparks concern

    A new picture of Singapore's first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who is now 90 years old, has drawn concern from people on Singapore's internet space.

  • Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls
    Waste oil collector struggles after STOMP posts, receives help from kind souls

    After being photographed at work in Jurong pooling used oil near coffee shops, 50-year-old Valerie Sim has been struggling to keep her family afloat. Web portals STOMP and The Real Singapore published pictures of her in February, triggering a witch hunt for others like her and comments from readers like “Who knows if they’ll use it as cooking oil?” Some readers also said they filed police reports against her and other people they believed were doing the same thing she was.

  • I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.
    I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind.

    I have committed a taboo – I have tendered my resignation without securing the next job. The reactions to the announcement were varied but they all pretty much hint at a deep sense of disapproval. “Why did you do that?” It was as if I had renounced my faith. “What are you going to do from now on?” Almost as though a misfortune had incapacitated me. “What does your family have to say about it?” As if I had offered to cook for the next family dinner. I was, and still am, certain of my reasons and motivations for the resignation. However the response I received got me thinking about why people are so concerned about the gaps in their careers. The developed world evolved from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy to the service age, then to the knowledge economy in the late 1990s and 2000s marked by breakthroughs in technological innovations and competition for innovation with new products and processes that develop from the research community. According to The Work Foundation, the knowledge economy is driven by the demand for higher value added goods and services created by more sophisticated, more discerning, and better educated consumers and ... The post I tendered my resignation without securing the next job. Here’s why I don’t mind. appeared first on Vulcan Post.

Featured Blogs