Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Tuesday said the December 8 riot in Little India is a good reminder to people that even in a stable society, such incidents can still happen.
Lee said the first priority was to look into what caused the riot and to ensure something like that does not happen again. He said the incident, the country's worst riot in 40 years, was a good reminder to people that even in a stable society, such incidents can still happen.
Speaking to reporters, Lee said authorities were also looking at ways to strengthen the police force by beefing up resources and employing technology such as equipping officers with wearable cameras.
Lee also heard from the 38 Home Team/police officers who were the first responders in Little India riot triggered by a fatal traffic accident involving an Indian national. Lee thanked the officers for performing their duty with courage and collectedness, and encouraged them not to heed some of the online criticism about their actions.
Asked if policymakers should think about a new social compact with foreign workers, beyond simply segregating them, Lee said those are broader issues that should be dealt with only after the Committee of Inquiry releases its findings. The government appointed committee is investigating the riot related issues.
Twenty-five Indian nationals would be charged in the court this Friday for rioting, and face up to seven years in jail and canning. Singapore police also deported 52 Indian nationals and one Bangladesh national in connection with the case.