Government Hinting that Singaporeans are to be Blamed for the Riot

Second Minister for Home Affairs S Iswaran said Singapore has no room for xenophobia.

Speaking on a BBC TV programme on Monday night called "Impact" about Sunday's riot in Little India, Mr Iswaran said foreign workers have been a part of Singapore's economy and there is a mutually beneficial relationship.

He said Singapore wants to keep it that way and keep the country open, and also manage the inflow of foreign workers in a manner that is consistent with the larger population's objectives.

Asked if the riot is the result of social tension in Singapore, Mr Iswaran said he would not want to make such an extrapolation.

He said although shocking, the incident is an isolated one. [pap magazine]


Who is this S Iswaran guy? 

Whoever he is, he was right. Singapore has no room for xenophobia. 

By 2030, Singapore will have no room for anything with a 6.9 million population. I have to take my hats off the PAP, they always have the uncanny ability to appear impossibly united, incredibly organised and have every single participant within their ranks to echo the government's vision in unison. When visions were carried out for the good of Singaporeans, their choreography could be beautifully pleasing. Unfortunately these days, the attempts have been beautifully icky.

Once again, another Minister was unwilling to put his head on the line by offering the antecedent events that sparked a fiery riot in Little India last Sunday. It is quite the curiosity if the government is clueless, apathetic or secretive. Yet again, another Minister took a potshot, this time at Singaporeans by insinuating that xenophobia among the Singaporean population was the cause of the riot then hurriedly disaffiliated himself by stating he did not want to make an extrapolation if social tension was the root of the riot. Is that as good as saying nothing? Curiously, site visitors of seemed to know a thing or two. 66% of the voters of a ongoing poll here claimed they saw a riot coming our way. If that can be taken seriously, what is it about the circumstances that the common people can read fairly well but not the government?

It was unsettling to hear a member of our government declaring the riot as an isolated case. It wasn't that long ago someone announced that the very large ponding in Orchard Road that took Singapore by the storm was an once-in-a-50-years event. Approximately 250 years later, ex-Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew told us "No amount of engineering can prevent floods." After another century, not surprising to Singaporeans by then, The CEO of PUB reduced the the ponding forecast to once in a while. To their credit, not all mishaps declared as "isolated" embarrassingly repeated themselves later on. A 3x over-budget YOG was an isolated case, not that we would have the opportunity to repeat a 'miscalculation' in the near future, fortunately. That doesn't take away the fact that when the government regards an issue as an isolated case, it effectively means case close after some ceremonial actions, such as visiting a dormitory and enforcing perplexing alcohol rules, are taken.

Hopefully the real underlying causes of the riot were not among the speculated some, such the mishandling of the situation by the police, social tension or oppression of exploited foreigners at its tipping point. Any of the above can and will bring forth another devastating riot if left unattended. Meanwhile, it seemed like the government had settled for the xenophobia scapegoat, a convenient one every occasion when Singaporeans raise their concerns over issues of different spectrum.


  1. it was not a riot la, just a grave incident

    1. Agree, its not a riot, it was just another Rajnikanth film shooting scene. Coming to the screen soon. Watch out for it. As it involves Singaporean MIW vip's so it will be a blockbuster.

  2. A "farsighted" minister comment.

    It is very obvious that the cause of the riots is due to the working condition and salary payment. These group of FT are the low pay workers who are far away from their homeland. They were promise by their agent that they will be rich if they come to work in SG. However, the opposite is the truth, they are oppress by the employer. They are pressurise to send money home and pay off any loan to the agent. At the sametime, they need to face the rising cost of living in SG with their meagre pay. In another word, economic, social, emontional and mental created this riot.

    Hence it is very obvious that Pap was the cause of it. May I know who has the power to open the flood gate to them. It is the policy maker.

    Firstly, if only the policy maker would not discrimmate jobs such as cleaners, rubbish collector and construction workers as jobs for uneducated in our school system. Secondly, they would show proper respect for these jobs as proper professions with its own merits. Thirdly, educate the public about the importantly of their roles in keeping the public arena clean and tidy. Lastly, award proper salary scheme for SG people to take up such job. These will indirectly reduce SG dependent on the foreigners to perform such jobs.

    As usual, the SG govt is more concern with dollars and cents then the greater sphere things. When the event broke out, they will use their age old defend technique," Once in X years event reasoning".
    Perhaps it might be true as the old man has predicted in his book, " Hard Truth". SG might no longer be a nation in 50-100 years time.

  3. So far:

    1. I am not aware of any Singaporeans arrested for the riot, and
    2. I am not aware of any Singaporeans seen destroying properties or hurting anyone in the riot.

    So how in the world Singaporeans deserve this kind of comments from a Minister in direct relation to the riot?

    Well, we deserve everything we vote for, that's all....

    I invite any Minister of the government to say that again on National television

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  5. Just a case of too much pent up frustration. Banglas and Indian nationals are probably treated badly just like in Malaysia. By who? Employers. Who are these Employers? In Malaysia its usually the nasi kandar restaurant owners who hire dozens of cheap workers from Indian subcontinent, and place them in atrocious living conditions.

  6. This comment sounds very racist as well.