News / Asia

Hundreds Riot in Singapore's Little India

The burnt shells of vehicles are pictured along Race Course Road following a riot near Singapore's Little India district, Dec. 9, 2013.
The burnt shells of vehicles are pictured along Race Course Road following a riot near Singapore's Little India district, Dec. 9, 2013.
VOA News
Hundreds of South Asian workers rioted in Singapore after being enraged by a fatal road accident in a rare case of public unrest in the wealthy city-state.
 
The incident started after a private bus hit and killed a foreign worker in an area known as Little India. Television footage showed a crowd of people smashing the windscreen of a bus, police cars being flipped over, at least two other vehicles on fire, and debris strewn across Race Course Road, one of the main thoroughfares in Little India.

About 400 people took to the streets. Police say they will take action against the rioters.
 
"We treat this incident very seriously and we have classified the case as one of rioting with dangerous weapons. We will spare no efforts to arrest those who are involved,” said Singapore’s Deputy Commissioner of Police, T. Raja Kumar.  
 
Singapore Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee said that in his 26 years of experience as a police officer, he had never seen rioting in Singapore's streets.
 
The city-state's Deputy Prime Minister, Teo Chee Hean, held a news conference a few hours after the riot saying the situation was under control and asking the members of the public to stay calm before describing the events.
 
“This is a serious incident, it started from a fatal traffic accident involving a private bus and as pedestrian, a crowd reacted to the accident and started a riot,” he said.
 
Little India is usually packed with people on Sundays, with many construction workers from Bangladesh and India gathering there to spend their day off.
 
The riot is likely to fuel concerns about discontent among low-paid foreign workers. Last year, Singapore saw its biggest outbreak of labor unrest in years when around 170 bus drivers from mainland China went on strike illegally.
 
Teo Chee Hean insisted Singapore still welcomes law abiding “guest workers” to make a living in the country, but said rioting will not be tolerated.
 
Police reported at 1 a.m. Monday morning that the incident was under control.
 
Singapore has tough laws on rioting that carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison and possible caning.
 
Some information in this report was contributed by Reuters.

You May Like

Hong Kong Democracy Calls Spread to Macau

Macau and Hong Kong are China’s two 'special administrative regions' which gives them a measure of autonomy More

After Nearly 2 Years, Pistorius Remains Elusive

Reporter Anita Powell reflects on her experience covering the Olympic athlete's murder trial More

Kenyan Coastal Town Struggles With Deadly June Attacks

Three months after al-Shabab militants allegedly attacked their town, some Mpeketoni residents are still bitter, question who was really behind the assaults More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africai
X
Luis Ramirez
September 15, 2014 11:01 PM
President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Obama to Ramp Up Anti-Ebola Efforts in Africa

President Barack Obama on Tuesday will unveil his plan to ramp up efforts against the spread of the Ebola virus in Africa. VOA White House Correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid