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PM Lee says measures to ensure order and safety in Little India in the works

Published on Dec 12, 2013 3:33 PM
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The Government will look into measures to ensure order and safety in Little India after last Sunday's riot, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (above) said in an interview in Seoul, where he is on an official visit. -- ST FILE PHOTO: JAMIE KOH

The Government will look into measures to ensure order and safety in Little India after last Sunday's riot, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said in an interview in Seoul, where he is on an official visit.

This will include looking at how the transport flow can be made safer, he said.

"Serangoon Rd is crowded every weekend and we want to make sure that everything is orderly and safe next weekend and thereafter.

"We've decided this weekend, no alcohol, and thereafter we'll work out some interim arrangements...until such time as we can come to firmer conclusions and make some more permanent arrangements," he said.

Mr Lee also said the investigations into the incident, which involved some 400 people throwing objects at police and SCDF officers and attacking vehicles, are carrying on well.

The Government has to deal with the matter firmly and make clear rioting is unacceptable, but "we have to be fair to the persons who are not involved, even the persons who are involved, there has to be a due process of law", he added..

Though understandably shocked, Singaporeans have reacted calmly to the riot, and on Thursday, Mr Lee called for continued restraint.

"Whether online or anywhere else we have to exercise some restraint. The anxiety and the alarm is quite understandable but if we express ourselves in unrestrained, unreserved terms and sometimes xenophobic terms even, on the internet you've seen quite a lot of those, I don't think that is helpful," he said.

He said the Government hopes to announce "within a day or two" more details on the Committee of Inquiry set up to look into the incident, including the names of the committee members and the terms of reference.