No arrests made during Jalan Tukang dorm incident: MHA

Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan said the police responded to a call for assistance at the Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory on October 13. PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE - No arrests were made in the wake of worker unrest at a dormitory in Jalan Tukang last month, and while additional police units were put on standby, they were not deployed, said Minister of State for Home Affairs Desmond Tan on Monday (Nov 1).

Mr Tan said the police responded to a call for assistance at the Westlite Jalan Tukang dormitory on October 13.

The information received was that a group of workers were behaving aggressively, with potential for violence.

Patrol officers from Jurong Police Division were dispatched to the dorm, where Ministry of Manpower officers were already engaging with the workers.

The situation was resolved together with the dormitory staff, Mr Tan said.

However, while they were engaging the workers, the officers from Jurong Police Division had also assessed that there was a need for other police units to be on standby should the situation turn violent.

Mr Tan did not specify which units these were, but videos and reports of the Oct 13 incident showed armoured riot police and at least four vehicles that appeared to be from the police's Special Operations Command (SOC) at the scene.

"These additional police units were not needed to be deployed," he said. "No arrests were made by the police during the incident."

In response to questions from Workers' Party MPs Muhamad Faisal Abdul Manap (Aljunied GRC) and He Ting Ru (Sengkang GRC), Mr Tan said SOC officers have been activated in response to public order incidents twice in the past five years.

Riot police were called in at 1pm and deployed at least four vehicles from the Special Operations Command. PHOTO: SHIN MIN DAILY NEWS

Both were incidents at the Singapore Boys' Home, in 2016 and 2018.

"The police deploys it forces based on the nature and the scale of the incident," said Mr Tan.

"Different units will be activated and deployed for different purposes depending on the situation for each case, and we generally do not disclose the kind of units and any other details that are relating to the operation."

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