Except for a few policemen and a couple of damaged civil defence vehicles, the scene where the first Singapore riot in decades occurred was quiet this morning. A Singaporean, S Saravanamuthu, was not even aware that a mob of foreign Indian workers had attacked a coach and police and civil defence vehicles in a fury that erupted after one of their citizens was killed in a bus accident at about 9.30 pm last night.
After getting some information from a passerby, Saravanamuthu, was seen shaking his head and asking in Tamil: Eppidi, eppidi (how, how) Three possible reasons:
CHEAP ALCOHOL: Nearly every shop in Little India sells liquor at rock bottom prices. A small can of Tiger beer costs $3, nearly $2 less than in many other places. Indian alcohol is available at even cheaper prices. Workers eating, drinking and making merry in open spaces every Sunday evening is quite common. The morning-after scene is one of empty cans, unfinished food and vomit.
A restaurant owner who does not serve alcohol said: “This was just waiting to happen. I see drunk workers outside my restaurant every weekend. They are very well behaved at first; after alcohol goes in they get argumentative, start shouting and even end up fighting. Luckily, other workers act quickly and separate the fighters.”
ANGER AND EMOTION: Seeing one of their citizens crushed under the coach must have angered the workers so much that they lost their senses. The influence of alcohol must have made things worse.
MOB FURY: All you need is a spark for things to get out of hand. That spark came when they saw one of their own kind being crushed to death and all hell broke loose.
Below is a video of police cars being overturned: