Little India riot, two months on: Bus timekeeper on the road to recovery

(Clockwise from left) Workers Murugan Ponnusamy, 30; Mani Munusamy, 26; Velu Arumugam, 31; and Kuberan Mani, 25, having a beer last Sunday at Spice Box restaurant at about 4pm. The three brothers and their uncle, Mr Munusamy, still meet every Sunday
(Clockwise from left) Workers Murugan Ponnusamy, 30; Mani Munusamy, 26; Velu Arumugam, 31; and Kuberan Mani, 25, having a beer last Sunday at Spice Box restaurant at about 4pm. The three brothers and their uncle, Mr Munusamy, still meet every Sunday but do so in the afternoons instead of at night. An auxiliary police officer helping to direct human traffic in front of the busy junction at Kerbau Road in Little India last Sunday. The authorities are expected to continue to keep a close watch on the area, and the stepped up patrols by auxiliary police officers are one sign of that. Tekka Residents' Committee chairman Martin Pereira (right) talking to Ms Chamila Perera, 39, owner of L.Y. Beauty Centre next to Tekka Market.ST PHOTOS: MARK CHEONG

Bus timekeeper Wong Geck Woon, 38, still shudders when she recalls the night the riot broke out.

She returned to Little India about three weeks ago to help with police investigations. "My hands were shivering when they took me back there," she said at her Potong Pasir flat.

As a timekeeper with the Singapore School Transport Association, she was in charge of the movement of buses taking foreign workers back to their dormitories.

On Dec 8, she was attacked after a bus ran over and killed a worker along Race Course Road. Men threw glass objects and stones at her, leaving cuts and bruises on her face and limbs, and a minor fracture on her right hand.

"I had nightmares for a whole week after that," she said. The permanent resident from Malaysia has a scar over her left eye, from the six stitches she had to have.

"The event just replayed itself. I kept thinking, why did this happen to me?"

She has since been taking care of her four-year-old daughter and helping a friend with her flea market business.

She has no intention of returning to work any time soon. "My husband is worried about me. My boss also asked me to rest because the case is not closed," she said.