Riots Break Out In Singapore; Think Your Country Is Immune?
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/09/2013 12:36 -0500
Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog,
Mohamed Bouazizi. It’s not a name that means much to most people. But you’ll recall his story.
Frustrated with the absurd amount of regulation and corruption that prevented him from being able to put food on the table for his family, Bouazizi was the 26-year old Tunisian fruit merchant that set himself on fire in 2011.
In doing so, all the pent up frustration across the Middle East and North Africa erupted all at once; the entire region immediately plunged into multi-year revolution which became known as the Arab Spring that has since toppled a number of governments.
Like individual people, societies have their own breaking points. They build up anger and frustration for years… sometimes decades. Then all it takes is one spark. One catalyst. And it all becomes unglued.
Just yesterday, a 33-year old Indian man got hit by the proverbial bus in Singapore’s Little India neighborhood. That was the catalyst. What transpired for the next several hours was a full blown riot… the first of its kind since 1969.
Several hundred rioters stormed the streets. They started off smashing the up the bus that was still on the corner of Hampshire Road and Race Course Road. Then they started throwing objects at the ambulance staff who were unsuccessful in extracting the man in time to save his life.
By the end of the evening, an angry mob had lit five police vehicles on fire, plus the ambulance, leaving the streets in a towering inferno.
The government immediately went into damage control mode trying to explain what happened. But the explanation is really quite simple.
Singapore has had years of tensions building. The wealth gap is growing like crazy. Wealthy people are becoming ultra-wealthy, while the majority of folks see the cost of living rise at an alarming rate.
Strong ideological and ethnic differences are boiling over. And backlash against immigrants, especially from certain countries, is becoming an acute and obvious problem.
These issues are commonplace. Ideological differences. The wealth gap and economic uncertainty. Immigration challenges.
They’re the same issues, for example, that have plunged much of Europe into turmoil, including the rise of a blatantly fascist political party in Greece.
And these same issues exist, in abundance, in the Land of the Free… where a number of serious ideological divides are becoming obvious social chasms.
Printing money with wanton abandon. Racking up the greatest debt burden in the history of the world. Doling out wasteful and offensively incompetent social welfare programs at the expense of the middle class. Brazenly spying on your own citizens. These are not actions without consequences.
And if it can happen in Singapore - one of the safest, most stable countries on the planet, it can happen anywhere. Even in a sterile American suburb.
Hundreds of foreign workers set fire to cars and clashed with police during a riot in Singapore tonight.
The disorder, which is rare in the city state, broke out in Singapore's Little India district after an Indian worker was reportedly hit and killed by a bus.
It is believed to be the worst outbreak of violence in Singapore for 40 years.
Ten police officers were injured as about 400 people rioted, flipping police cars and smashing ambulances with sticks and garbage bins.
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Ten police officers were injured as 400 people rioted in Singapore's Little India neighbourhood on Sunday night
Hundreds of people torched police cars and smashed ambulances after a Bangladeshi worker was reportedly hit and killed by a bus
Rioters damaged ambulances and clashed with police during the outbreak of violence, which is rare in Singapore
Police cars were overturned during the riot and politicians have vowed to find and arrest those who took part
Witness Dharmendra Yadav, told Channel News Asia that at least two vehicles were on fire, and that rubbish and broken bottles were strewn on the streets.
He said he and many others were in a nearby Hindu temple attending a wedding when police called asking that the gates be locked until officers gave them clearance to leave.
He said: 'We heard explosions. We also heard warnings from riot police.'
Footage on Channel News Asia showed at least two vehicles on fire and debris strewn across Racecourse Road, one of the main thoroughfares in Little India. Many other private cars were reported to have been damaged as well.
Riot police cordon off the area in Little India after the riot was brought under control within hours
The burnt remains of a car that was set on fire during a rare outbreak of violence in Singapore, where riots are punished severely
People convicted of taking part in the riot could face up to seven years in prison or even be caned
Riot policemen watch burning vehicles during the riot in the Little India district on Sunday night
Singapore Police Force said the riot started after a fatal traffic accident.
'Shortly after, a riot broke out involving a crowd of about 400 subjects where the subjects damaged five police vehicles and one ambulance,' it said in a statement.
Incidents like this are rare in Singapore, which has tough laws on rioting that carry a sentence of up to seven years in prison and possible caning.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong that 'whatever events may have sparked the rioting, there is no excuse for such violent, destructive, and criminal behaviour, according to ABC.
'This is a serious incident which has resulted in injuries and damage to public property,' said Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Pri
me Minister and Minister of Home Affairs. 'Police will spare no efforts to apprehend the subjects involved in the riot.'
Singapore's civil defence officers extinguish burning vehicles after the riot was brought under control at about 1am local time
Police detain men following the riot. The violence is likely to fuel concerns about discontent among low-paid foreign workers
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (front right) inspects the damage. He said police will 'spare no efforts to apprehend the subjects involved in the riot'
The area is popular among Indian, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and Nepali expatriates and is usually busy on Sundays as South Asian workers enjoy their day off.
The violence is likely to fuel concerns about discontent among low-paid foreign workers.
Last year Singapore saw its biggest outbreak of labour unrest in years when around 170 bus drivers from mainland China went on strike illegally.
Police brought the riot under control at about 1am on Monday morning, local time.