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Government must get to root of issues that caused Little India riot: NSP

Published on Dec 10, 2013 6:53 PM
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The wrecked tour bus and red rhino. Aftermath of the riot in Little India, Race Course Road and Buffalo Road, on Monday, Dec 9, 2013. The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has called on the Government to get to the root of the issues that caused Sunday's riot in Little India. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The National Solidarity Party (NSP) has called on the Government to get to the root of the issues that caused Sunday's riot in Little India.

If this does not occur, "the stressors and underlying factors which had caused the incident will only manifest itself in another, perhaps uglier way", the party's secretary-general Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss said on Tuesday.

It is important that the Committee of Inquiry (COI) being convened conduct its investigation independently and impartially, "without regard to any embarrassment it may cause the ruling party because of its policies".

She added in a statement on the NSP's Facebook page: "Once completed, the COI must present its findings to Singaporeans openly and transparently."

She pointed out that two ministers' suggestion that alcohol consumption was a contributing factor for the riot was "a narrative that is convenient to the ruling party".

This ignored the flaws in immigration and manpower policies and their impact on the social fabric, she added.

Sunday's riot - the first here in 40 years - and the bus drivers' strike a year ago should also serve as a "wake-up call".

Ms Chong-Aruldoss said: "Not only do we need to re-look the extent of our dependency on foreign labour, we also need to urgently examine how well (or not) we are treating our foreign workers who have come to Singapore to earn a living for themselves and their families back home."

The NSP also said there was a need to guard against stereotyping people according to appearance or skin colour.

"We should also refuse audience to those who seek to use this unfortunate incident to stoke racial disharmony and xenophobia."