30 December 2013

Little India Riot — Dealing With Rioters And Others

The migrant workers who were "involved" in the 8 December riot in Little India were placed in three groups by the police.[1]

Group One Charged
This group comprised persons who, based on police investigations, were found to be "actively involved in the violence, and who had damaged property, defied police orders or incited others to do so". These individuals have been formally charged in court.

This may be understood to mean that the persons were alleged to have:
▪ Actively involved in the violence, and
▪ Damaged property or defied police orders or incited others to do so.

20 December 2013

Riot Aftermath — Little India Recalibrated And Migrant Drinkers' Coming Quandary

When Minister for Transport Lui Tuck Yew wrote:

"[I]t was clear how much quieter the place had become [one evening on the weekend following the 8 December riot].
 
...

The measures that MHA [Ministry of Home Affairs] imposed on a temporary basis have helped to restore a sense of calm and order to the place. Going forward, we will have to tweak these measures so that, for everyone involved, Little India does become a better PLACE (Police presence enhanced, Less Alcohol and Congestion, Enforcement tightened)."

I suspected that weekends in Little India would not be allowed to be the same again.

Mr Lui, who is also a Member of Parliament for Moulmein-Kallang GRC of which Little India is a part, foresees that the recommendations of the Committee of Inquiry will help the Government reach "a more appropriate, steady state" in Little India, and possibly in other areas where foreign workers congregate in large numbers.

17 December 2013

Little India Riot — Was Response Consistent With Words?

The Government's statements about the 8 December riot in Little India

▪ The riot was an isolated incident.

▪ The riot was spontaneous and arose from the unlawful actions of an unruly mob reacting to a fatal traffic accident.

▪ The Government had not seen any evidence of pent-up tensions among foreign workers resulting from existing employment and workplace issues erupting.

▪ There were some signs that alcohol was a factor.


13 December 2013

Riot's Silver Lining

By now, almost everyone in Singapore and some people in India would have heard or read about the riot by 400 plus people in Little India last Sunday.

A number of policemen and ambulance personnel were injured. Police cars and an ambulance were torched. 31 alleged rioters have been charged.

The country's tranquillity has been shattered, its carefully nurtured reputation tarnished.

Was there a silver lining in the riot?

06 December 2013

The Case For Online Anonymity

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says that laws are needed to combat the growing problem of cyber-bullying and other forms of Internet harassment, particularly as the young are especially vulnerable and may end up depressed or suicidal. There is also the phenomenon of trolls setting out just to disrupt proper, constructive discussions by hurling abuse and stirring hate.[1]

Such behaviour is totally unacceptable face-to-face, and should be totally unacceptable online too. "We" must fight back against trolling and provide a safe, responsible online environment which promotes constructive participation.[1]

Minister for Law and Foreign Affairs K Shanmugam says that the online environment, like the physical sphere, needs laws to curb harassment of people to such an extent that they commit suicide, cyber-bullying and putting out falsehoods which have no basis.[2]

Clearly, cyber-bullying and other forms of harassment, trolling and outright lies are despicable acts.
 
But do they justify disallowing anonymous comments completely? Is there a case for Internet anonymity?