Riots happened in Little India last night around 9.30pm at the cross junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road involving at least 400 people, involving some 300 police both Special Operations Command (SOC) and the Gurkhas Contingent were activated to mobilise the incident. You can read more about it in Straits Times Online.
As of most Singaporeans, I had trouble sleeping knowing there was mishap happening in the country. The speed of social media’s reach was amazing. Twitter triumph all social platforms on the updates, even faster than our news media since the first photo of the riot was posted, and videos follow suit in Youtube for the explosions of the emergency vehicles. A hashtag search on #littleindiariot and you would get the latest updates with Minister Tan Chuan-Jin (@chuanjin1) pleading the public to stay calm during the ordeal. The tag has caught a huge global audience with the trending ranks of Twitter.
Kudos to the effective Home Team whom managed to subdue the angry mob within a short period of time without even firing a shot (Having gone through Army, I understand the rules of engagement well). At least no one else apart from the traffic accident was killed amidst the riot. My heartfelt gratitude to the peacekeeping HomeTeam and people whom are trying to help on site even amidst the chaos.
Singapore’s peace has been undisturbed since the 1950s, and it bothers me as a Singaporean that such mishap happened last night. Peace can never be taken for granted. The four races in Singapore has been living in harmony for that many years and we’ve rejoiced year on year on what our forefathers have fought for, having friends, families and extended families through our neighbourhood, through our NS lives to be able to trust, learn, live and help one another.
Although the incident hasn’t been started by any Singaporeans, we cannot take this incident lightly. To err is human, and even though most mobsters involved are not born here, everyone is flesh and blood. I was deeply disheartened when I was scrolling through Twitter and Facebook with regards to some insensible comments that was logged. Whilst most of the unhappy crowd (I noticed a good number of teens were very vocal) are trolling in the social platforms, the fighters are still on the ground trying to resolve an event which is somewhat sensitive when lives are involved. The only thing we can do whilst being safe at home is to just to support them by either words of encouragement, else just to pray for everyone else’s safety.
With such incident that happened, it was lucky for Singapore as it wasn’t widespread to many other vicinity in the area. I’m quite certain that readiness condition (redcon) statuses of the Armed Forces and the HomeTeam will be raised, where trainings are more ramped up and security will be stepped up. This will ensure that should there be any future (I pray not) similar incidents such as this happen, they will be definitely more effective in their roles.
As of 8.50am today, both roads which were affected are already open and SPF is still investigating and arresting people whom are involved in the incident.
For most of us, we’re thankful and I plead to our people to be more sensitive in handling their emotions better, be it in social media or in real lives as to what our forefathers and ourselves have been fighting for, which will eventually be translated into the history textbooks of our future generations.