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Dr Ng Eng Hen gratified by mature response to Little India riot

Published on Dec 14, 2013 5:11 AM
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Generic picture of the Little India. Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said he was "gratified" by the measured response of Singaporeans to the recent riot in Little India, noting that they did not rush to "expand the problem in terms of what it isn't". -- ST FILE PHOTO: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN

WASHINGTON- Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said he was "gratified" by the measured response of Singaporeans to the recent riot in Little India, noting that they did not rush to "expand the problem in terms of what it isn't".

"It doesn't, on the face of it, tell us that there are deteriorating racial relationships or there are deep problems in terms of foreign workers, but whatever it is, we should let the commission of inquiry do its job," he said in an interview as he wrapped up a four-day visit to the United States.

"Singaporeans have responded with maturity on this issue," he said.

He added that the Singapore Armed Forces "stand ready" to assist the Police in such situations.

"They didn't need our help but when it comes to, not only riots, but any civil disasters so on and so forth, the SAF stand ready," he said.

Earlier in his visit, Dr Ng had witnessed the Forging Sabre, a Singapore military exercise conducted in the US on a site 19 times the size of Singapore.