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Little India Riot COI: Timekeeper had other 'unpleasant encounters' with foreign workers

Published on Feb 20, 2014 3:06 PM
 

Bus timekeeper Wong Geck Woon had had two unpleasant encounters with foreign workers prior to the Little India riot on Dec 8 last year, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) heard on Thursday as it convened for a second day.

The first occurred on New Year's Day in 2012, when she was allegedly a victim in an outrage of modesty case. She wrote in her conditioned statement, which was read out in court: "I felt someone touch my backside as I was about to reach for my walkie-talkie. I grabbed his hand ... I accused him of molesting me but he denied."

Speaking through a Mandarin interpreter, the 38-year-old said that the ensuing commotion drew a crowd over, including auxiliary police officers who escorted the foreign worker to a corner and spoke to him. They then brought her to a police station to lodge a report, but Madam Wong said that no documents were given to her, nor was there any follow-up to the matter.

Senior State Counsel David Khoo said: "The investigation officer will look into this matter, now that we know she went to the police station."

Bus timekeeper Madam Wong Geck Woon (above) had two unpleasant encounters with foreign workers prior to the Little India riot on Dec 8 last year, the Committee of Inquiry (COI) heard Thursday, Feb 20, 2014, as it convened for a second day. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The second incident took place in November last year, when two men - a Singaporean and an Indian foreign worker - accused her of snitching on them when they were summoned by auxiliary police officers for throwing cigarette butts indiscriminately. Before they were approached by the officers, she had been talking to them.

Madam Wong, who has been employed as a part-time timekeeper with the Singapore School Transport Association for five years, was injured when projectiles were thrown at her in the aftermath of a fatal traffic accident involving 33-year-old Indian national akthivel Kumaravelu. Two men also boarded the bus, where she was cowering under a raincoat, and rained more blows on her.

Towards the end of her testimony, COI member and former Commissioner of Police Tee Tua Ba asked: "Are you afraid to go back to work?"

She evaded the question, answering: "I want to rest for the time being."