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

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs