Little India riot, two months on: Awaiting more customers

Mr Syed Yoosuf hopes the calmer situation will result in more customers for his shop, which sells portraits of deities. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG
Mr Syed Yoosuf hopes the calmer situation will result in more customers for his shop, which sells portraits of deities. -- ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

Every Monday morning for the past two years, framemaker Syed Yoosuf Shah would have to clean up spilt beer and bottles of liquor littering the five-foot way outside his Kerbau Road shop.

Just a stone's throw from the scene of the Dec 8 riot, the area near his shop would be packed every Sunday with foreign workers, who often left a mess behind.

"We would even have to mop up vomit," said the owner of Y Shahul Hameed Glass and Frame Makers.

Some mornings, he would rouse drunken workers who had fallen asleep outside his shop. "They would wake up dazed, thinking it was still night," he said. "We'd tell them to hurry and go to work. Some might have missed the last train so they ended up falling asleep on the streets."

Mr Syed Yoosuf, 42, who has lived and worked in Little India all his life, said the situation got out of hand about two years ago "when even sundry shops began to sell liquor".

He hopes the calmer situation today will result in more customers for his shop, which sells portraits of deities.

"Women and families who were scared off by the masses of men, will now find it safer to shop here on weekends."