Press Statement by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Little India Riot

9 December 2013

The riot in Little India was a very serious incident. There is no excuse for such violent and criminal behaviour. We are investigating the incident thoroughly and will deal with the culprits with the full force of the law.

I have directed the Ministry of Home Affairs to convene a Committee of Inquiry (COI) to look into this serious incident. The COI will look into the factors that led to the incident and how the incident was handled on the ground. It will also review the current measures to manage areas where foreign workers congregate, whether they are adequate and how they can be improved. MHA will provide more details when ready.

This riot was an isolated incident arising from the unlawful actions of an unruly mob reacting to a fatal traffic accident. The vast majority of foreign workers in Singapore are law-abiding workers. They contribute to our economy, working hard to earn a living and support their families back home. We must not allow this bad incident to tarnish our views of the foreign worker community here.

I also offer my deepest condolences to the family of Mr Sakthivel Kumaravelu, who was killed in the traffic accident that preceded the riot.

I am glad the Home Team officers who were injured in the incident have been discharged from the hospital, and are recovering well. I wish them a complete and speedy recovery.

I urge Singaporeans to remain calm and continue with our daily lives. Support our frontline officers in the Home Team, and share any leads you may have with the Police. Let us stay united as one people as we deal with this unfortunate incident, and keep Singapore a safe and orderly country.

. . . . .