Little India riot COI – A voice of wisdom and reason

Finally we are hearing a voice of reason from not only a very experienced ex commissioner, but one who uses his wisdom to think before making a subjective assessment. If you are following the comments of experienced, so called experts in the MH370 case, you will know that many of them were just spouting nonsense. They may have the experience and in senior positions, but they were the proverbial one eyed jack during a time when everyone was blind. Intelligence and wisdom will show when one does not have them in the first place.

Back to the COI. We have several sessions when the COI was more about a contest of opinions between the police on the ground and the COI committee. It was about who is right and smarter in handling the riot. The police’s view was not using excessive force, waiting for the SOC to reinforce their position was the right thing to do as any wrong move could inflame the already bad situation that could be life threatening. The COI’s view, the police should have acted swiftly with a bit more assertiveness or use of force to disperse the crowd. It wasn’t life threatening and going after the rioters would prevent more violence or the burning of more vehicles. These two views were what I read from the media and the police or COI may want to dispute and say I am misreading the whole hearing. Just my view, feel free to disagree.

In this morning’s paper, ex Police Commissioner Khoo Boon Hui offered some very sensible and reasonable views of what he thought, and how the police handled the situation. He did not outrightly claim which side was right as the situation was fluid and volatile and could turn any way. Whatever actions the police could do otherwise, could lead to lowering the tension and lesser rioting, or it could be worse. Who could be wiser to claim for sure that doing A would end up with B or doing C would end up with D unless he is omniprescient. A mob is unpredictable.

Khoo Boon Hui also spoke about different times, different values and different methodologies. The old tactics of meeting force with force is less desirable in today’s context unless the situation warrants it. How the police handled the situation in Little India was in line with their new doctrine and a new reality. He wisely stayed away from committing himself into a ‘I am right and you are wrong’ situation. No one in his right mind should be making such a judgemental pronouncement without looking pompous and silly.

The COI would definitely benefit from Khoo Boon Hui’s statement of reasons.


Anonymous said...

You can be wise or be a one eyed jack.
Bottom line:
A riot has occurred.
What is the PAP government going to do about it?

No point asking Sinkies to do anything about it.
Sinkies are to dis-empowered.
We can't even go to Istana to wake up Tony Tan to guard our reserves ... or else we get arrested.

Anonymous said...


Khoo Boon Hui’s statement of reasons is just like the WP's stand on issues - didn't take sides, not making a stand, meaning sitting on the fence lah.

But PAP see "not making a stand" as no good and even publicly criticised WP not once but twice, u know.

So who is right, Khoo Boon Hui, PAP, WP or RB?

Oops, I should not be asking who is right or wrong, as there are no right or wrong answers, tio bo?

But one thing for sure is right, and PAP got it right. That is PAP won the last elections with 93% seats with only 60% votes.

And does it matter if others say it is not right, u tell me lah?

Anonymous said...

BTW Khoo Boon Hui is a President scholar and my personal opinion is that even in changing times, the police needs to consider who they are dealing with.

In the Little India riot, these were the lower educated from a 3rd world country. If Khoo Boon Hui uses modern tactics to deal with this people, we have trouble. This was exactly what happened.

So your conclusion that Khoo Boon Hui is a voice of wisdon and reason is flawed as his analysis and recommendations were based on incomplete use of data.

Matilah_Singapura said...

I'm with the cops on this one. The police commander on the ground has the final call.

We have seen too many instances of police using EXCESSIVE FORCE. Just look at the footage of the recent "Occupy Movement", and how cops bullied and assaulted people -- e.g. baton-smashing and pepper spraying defenseless people etc.

So what if a few govt vehicles got burned?

Firearms should only be used when there are lethal weapons being used by the rioters. If the rioters had guns or parangs, or were beating to death some hapless citizen, then yes, you'd better fucking shoot the cunts.

Singapore cops are not trigger-happy cowboys. The meddling politicians should not press the cops to become trigger-happy killers.

Confronting mob violence is scary. There is nothing to be ashamed of by being scared -- you are human, if you are completely "fearless" you are a dangerous fool with leanings to becoming a cold-blooded killer. That is NOT how police should become.

oldhorse42 said...

Why was Khoo Boon Hui called to testify before COI?
He was in Qatar when the riot broke and as such could not offer any insights on how the riot could have better handled.
Was he there to offer Ministry of Home Affairs' thinking on how the riot should have been handled?
One thing I am sure is that he is not the person to seek a decision in a momemt of crisis. I woud want a yes or no answer from him and not a philosophy discourse that make me lost my way.
Pyrric victory indeed!

Anonymous said...

Read much about the Little India Riot.
Nobody beats Matilah_Singapura in the deciphering of the Issue. No philosophical interpretation, strictly scientific.
He is my idol.

Lao Jiao said...

My gut sense is that the Police just froze on that eventful night like a deer caught in the head lamps of an approaching car.

They were slow to react to contain the violent rioters. You can't reason with berserk men who are drunk and venting their pent up frustration by burning police cars, the symbol of authority.

The SOC maybe better trained to handle such situations but divisional and neighbourhood police are always the first to reach a trouble spot and they should be trained to handle such containment in an effective manner before the arrival of the SOC.

You say, I say, he say? Not bloody use.

If the initial ground force had fired warning shots into the air, this fiasco would have been contained very speedily. The rioters would have scattered and scampered in all directions. No one, yes, no one wants to die even in his drunken stupor, he can still comprehend what a bullet would do. So at the sound of a revolver going off, all fury and false bravado would have drained away from these pseudo heroes. Next, if the warning shot into the air wasn't enough, some rubber bullets would do the trick.

You say, he say, I say? The question we are asking is why were there no warning shots fired, where were the tear gas, where were the water canons?

Obviously, it's not only the uniform that thet DAC forgot to wear to ground zero. He also should have brought along the equipment to handle a riot IN PROGRESS.

Anonymous said...

Coi coi coitus interruptus.

Matilah_Singapura said...


Please don't idolise me. Please raise the bar on your standards, you owe it to yourself.

Anonymous said...

But I can definitely say the COI will conclude;

a)It is not the fault of the PAP government.
b)It is not the fault of the PAP government immigration-population policies

c)It is not the fault of 50 years of PAP engineering of our economy to require so much input of cheap labour.

I may not know whose fault it is.
But I know whose fault it is not.

Anonymous said...

No policeman will fire warning shot now. It is either shoot to kill or keep the revolver in the holster.
Kill or no kill, any officer who discharge his firearm will be investigated. So, unless an officer is in mortal danger, his own safety got to be first priority and the Next Priority is to avoid getting grilled for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Right, and look at how they are conning you now.

They are just wayang, and now one gentleman comes along..and give his opinion..and you are "sway" by this.

Isn't this what the PAP government had been conning us from day one..

Wake up from your slumber.

Anonymous said...

Why wasn't the current Chief of Police asked to face the COI, and instead we have the ex-COP

Anonymous said...

If the current Chief of Police still remain in his job, it means he is the best available Chief of Police the PAP govt can find lah, tio bo?

And despite the riots, despite whatever lah.

Anonymous said...

Not easy to find Sinkie talents who can or want to become Chief of Police, u know.

Just as it is not easy to find Sinkie talents who can or want to become Ministers, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

/// Just as it is not easy to find Sinkie talents who can or want to become Ministers, tio bo? ///

Sure or not?
1.Change all GRCs into SMCs for GE 2016.
2. Reduce election deposit to $1,000 per candidate.

PM Lee and PAP.
I dare you.

Anonymous said...

Maybe we should have a foreigner as a Chief of Police, especially those from the rioters' country....since no Singaporeans are talented to become CEOs / head of department etc..

PSS said...

Rb: " Who could be wiser to claim for sure that doing A would end up with B or doing C would end up with D unless he is omniprescient. A mob is unpredictable. "

With access to large numbers of those who rioted and those who did not, one way for those in charge "to estimate" whether action A ( eg. restrain ) would lead to action B ( eg. less violence and/ or bloodshed ); or whether action C ( eg. force ) would lead to action D ( eg. intimidating rioters and potential rioters to prevent/ stop further destructive actions ) could be via a “statistical inference sampling design model”. Though there would never be a 100% certainty result, the “statistical estimated numbers/ likelihood for certain ensuing reaction” would likely provide more information to give some “broad guidance” for future policy making/ course of action.

An upcoming post: "An Academic Analysis of Estimating Political Support" ( A work in progress ..... ) along similar line shall discuss in a “hypothetical theoretical basis” how various decisions, courses of actions and/ or inactions and social, political, economic dynamics are likely to affect the final “equilibrium of political support” in a democratically elected political setting.

As mentioned, this is “purely an academic hypothetical analysis” but may throw some lights towards buiding a “better, more cohesive and harmonious society with higher sustainability, less-social stratification and hopefully a higher happiness-index in society” .......

Another upcoming post ( S3i – Ideas for Singapore's Success and Sustainability --- A Spending Neutral Proposal to Boost TFR Significantly Within 2 – 3 Years ) basing “statistical methods” to “try increase this little red dot's falling stork and TFR” would approach to “skin the TFR's cat” from another totally different angle/ perspective without arguably increasing current cost to the achieve significant improvement within “ 2 to 3 years”.

PSS pro-sustainable-sg

“以民为先, 创造价值, 开源节流, 见微知著, 见端知末, 鞠躬尽瘁, 死而后已”

Anonymous said...

The COI forgot that its terms of reference are to find out the causes of the riot, not why or how the police dealt with it.

Anonymous said...

When the bucks stops at yr desk u go to make the decision or make a choice or history will overwhelm you.
When u r the gahmen u hv to govern act as if u can

Anonymous said...

has the COI deviated away from its' PURPOSE?

Anonymous said...

More characters than a street wayang this COI charade.

Anonymous said...

Air (Sky)

Anonymous said...

This guy is just protecting his ass. Govt assets have been destroyed. The police is not up to mark. Excuses and excuses. Ask them go and fly kite.

Virgo 49 said...

Right bro, this guy as ex Police Commissioner must tried to protect the SPF image as rotted by him.

Ex ex com Tee Tua Ba is different. He is gung ho because his is decorated with meritous medals for escorting or flying out on the house free with the Japanese so called Red Guards in the 70s Laju hijack case.

Promoted and backed by strong hills, so he can asked bruntly why the girlie SPF fails.

Even the Operations commandant asked to be given
face and so as not to made his men lose morale.

The truth is that they had failed miserably. Judge recommend used lathi to whack these rioters.

Think they are driving cattles?

Brute violence must be met with brute retaliation from the law holders.

Batons and tear gases are proven methods in quelling riots.

Anonymous said...

To offer one as a hostage does not give one the right to think he is right. These are two separate things.