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Published: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 3:54:00 PM
Updated: Monday December 9, 2013 MYT 11:20:42 PM

Singapore riot: Singaporeans in disbelief

SINGAPORE: Singaporeans are still in a state of disbelief that a riot by a group of foreigners at Little India actually happened in this relatively trouble-free island late Sunday night.

Bank employee Eugene Leong, 28, said that it was difficult to digest the images of about 200 foreigners attacking several police patrol cars, ambulance, a bus and setting them on fire.

"Its not something that you would think would ever happen, especially in Singapore, as we are famed for our stringent regulations.

"Watching the incident on the news was shocking and scary and now many of us want to know what action will be taken to make sure it doesn’t happen again," he said when interviewed along Race Course Road where the rioters ran rampant.

Leong said that while action should be taken against those involved, the government should immediately beef up police presence, especially in areas where there were high number of foreigners.

"Another option that could be looked into is to limit the timings for selling alcohol so that drunkards do not loiter around the shops and later cause trouble," said the 28-year-old.

Investment consultant Davian Sim,30, also said that he was shocked when news broke out about the riot.

"We have never heard of such thing happening here and the last major riot were the racial-based ones that occurred in 1969," he said.

He added that the incident was a frightening one that could repeat itself if action was not taken.

"The government should study the matter and come up with ways to deal with this.

"One way could be to adopt a policy from Australia where open drinking in public places is prohibited," he said.

Meanwhile, resident S. Ram Prakash, 14, who witnessed the whole incident from his home on the 17th floor of a nearby flat said that it was beyond frightening.

"Seeing the angry mob attack the bus with sticks and rubbish cans was something that I will not forget.

"The group could not be controlled and continued to cause havoc even after a group of about 10 policemen were deployed to the area," he said.

He added that the most frightening was when rioters set fire to several police petrol cars and overturned the vehicles.

"I believe that they were all drunk because they were dancing and shouting as the fires blazed," he said, adding that the crowd dispersed only when riot police were deployed.

Ram said that the whole fiasco ended at around 12pm and the remains of the burnt petrol cars were cleared up at around 4am on Monday morning.