Little India: Well done media and Singaporeans

MR  JOHN CHAN KOK HENG

I AGREE with The Straits Times reply to Ms Talia Seet (Calling it 'Little India riot' is convenient but inappropriate, Dec 23, 2013) that ST was fair and accurate in naming the Dec 8 rioting as the "Little India riot". First, ST was right because it was  the exact location where the rioting occurred.  It is correct information and true to its news origin.  For example, the current protests are occurring in the heart of Bangkok today. Should we then specifically put street names to depict its location?  No. We call it the the "Bangkok protests" because that's accurate and responsible media reporting. Singaporeans ( young and old) are well-travelled, educated and matured.  It is highly unlikely for Singaporeans to lump all foreigners from India  with  Indian Singaporeans.  Similarly, if  ever, a few trouble makers had come from mainland China, Singaporeans are civic-minded  to  avoid jumping to  any  hasty conclusion that all Chinese Singaporeans are the the culprits. Neither the tourists nor the business community will think that way either.  Second, Singapore is already a global city and our schools and universities  are becoming more cosmopolitan.  Young, educated Singaporeans are already exposed to a mix of races from different parts of the world  with diverse  ethnic origins.  If today's kids can tell one ethnic group apart  from the other, what more with adults?  The fact that  tourists, foreign business people and citizens  have started returning to Little India for their sightseeing, shopping and dining within a fortnight after the rioting proves that our security measures have been effective and the crisis has been well managed. Even the foreign workers are starting to return in numbers. With time, Little India, a famous landmark in Singapore, will  fully recover from that one-off incident and will continue to attract its crowds back and be enjoyed by everyone, Singaporeans and foreigners alike. It is already evident that life is back to normal in that little corner we call "Little India".

WRITER'S NOTE: I'm 50, a musician and student, and I was featured in a Sunday Times report on Dec 15 (centre in the picture) for reaching out to migrant workers in Little India following the Dec 8 riots.