What can we learn from the Riot?

One whole generation has grown up in peaceful Singapore.
Yesterday’s Channel News footage of rioting did not happen in Bangkok, but right in our own Little India.

We now know the riot was triggered by a bus accident which leads to the death on a foreign worker. A sad incidence, but the actions which happen afterwards were uncalled for.

Youtube footages showcase overturned police vehicles and burning ambulance.
It was fortunate that no one was seriously hurt.

More shocking than the rioting and disorder are the online comments.

Similar to the recent “annonymous hacking” incidence, a group of people were out in force spreading half truths and chanting racial slurs.

The comments were unhelpful and adding fuel to fire. Some examples are :
– send them back to their countries
– insulting slurs to Indian’s darker pigment
– along the way, someone will mention “why Singapore so many Foreign Talents” again
– Police only know how to bully residents

I can explain the physical riot to my children, but I could not find a logical explanation for the online rioters‘ agenda.

Yes, you can hate the government or the politicians, but you do not side with the enemies or troublemakers to harm Singaporeans. It is only a matter of time before we read “sensational” reporting from websites like TheRealSingapore.

(For the record, I seek alternate views, but some websites are only out to draw blood, spread half truths and fan raw sentiments)

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What can we learn from this rioting incidence?

1) Remind our kids that nothing can be taken for granted, be it peace or safety

2) We can be frank and admit that racial harmony and integration is an ongoing process. All it takes is some idiotic comments to stress Singapore’s racial harmony

3) When we see a Police officer or Paramedic (Hometeam), we can show some appreciation, he/she is keeping Singapore safe. Hometeam should organise more events to engage the community, like the recent open house

4) For a few hours during the riot, Singapore Police Force’s Fanpage and ChannelNewsAsia kept Repeating the same message :

“Police confirmed a riot at .. public stay away.. and situation is under control”

We are lucky that the situation was under control.
– What happen if the riot spreads?
– What happen if there are more casualties?
– What happen if we need to contact our loved ones who might be in the vicinity?
– Are we supposed to rely on ChannelNewsAsia (CNA) as the source of update?

During that few hours, with a lack of information, everyone went online for the latest updates. That’s when speculations and untruths spurn out of proportion.

(Most people would feel uncomfortable watching police vehicles and ambulance burning)

We need an official voice and medium, someone with authority to update the latest situation. Having an official update at 1.30am might be too late.

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If you have not been to Little India before, do pop by when things have settle down.
Absorb the surroundings, take in the burst of colours, and yes, the scents.
Our previous trip to Little India.

Majority of Indians (be it from India, Bangladesh) are peace-loving hardworking folks.
They are here in Singapore so that their families can enjoy a better life.

If the kids come up from this episode less gullible, and not taking Singapore’s safety and peace for granted, it will be a positive start.