Public hearing on the Little India Riot to begin on Feb 19

Fresh flowers left at the accident site along Race Course Road on Dec 21, 2013 as a blessing for the worker who died. The accident sparked a riot in Little India by 400 people. The public hearing for the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on the riot will st
Fresh flowers left at the accident site along Race Course Road on Dec 21, 2013 as a blessing for the worker who died. The accident sparked a riot in Little India by 400 people. The public hearing for the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on the riot will start at 10am on Feb 19 at the Subordinate Courts. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

The public hearing for the Committee of Inquiry (COI) on the Little India riot will start at 10am on Feb 19 at the Subordinate Courts.

Those keen on making representations or giving evidence at the Inquiry can notify the COI Secretariat at COI_secretariat@mha.gov.sg before Feb 5 with the details on the evidence and documents they would like to present at the hearing. These should be confined to the terms of reference of the COI, which include establishing the circumstances leading to the Dec 8 riot, and recommending further measures to improve the management and reduce the risk of similar incidents.

Members of the public can attend the hearing, which will be held on working days until further notice.

The COI's findings will be presented to the COI Chairman and members at the public hearing. After the hearing is concluded, the COI will submit a report of its proceedings, findings and recommendations to the Minister for Home Affairs. The COI cannot rule on - and has no power to determine - the civil or criminal liability of any person.

Since the COI was appointed last December, the team has conducted voluntary interviews with 20 of the 57 foreign workers before they were repatriated.

An investigation team from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) has also been appointed to investigate the possible causes of the riot. The team started its investigations on Dec 26 and has since spoken to witnesses like police officers, shopkeepers in the Little India area, and the bus driver and time-keeper involved in the accident.