Though understandably shocked, Singaporeans have reacted calmly to the Little India riot, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday.
Speaking to local media at the end of his official visit to South Korea, PM Lee called for continued restraint.
"Whether online or anywhere else we have to exercise some restraint. The anxiety and the alarm is quite understandable, but if we express ourselves in unrestrained, unreserved terms and sometimes xenophobic terms even, on the Internet you've seen quite a lot of those, I don't think that is helpful," The Straits Times Online quoted him as saying.
Asked if the incident would impact Singapore's foreign worker policy, PM Lee stressed that the country needs foreign workers. If it did not have them, the housing or public transport plans would not be achieved and Singaporeans would be severely affected. What is needed is how to better manage them. There are about one million foreign workers in Singapore and about 400 were involved in the riot.
PM Lee stressed that this was a specific circumstance, a localised riot, and those involved would be treated severely, reported Channel NewsAsia. The Government will look into measures to ensure order and safety in Little India.
"Serangoon Road is crowded every weekend and we want to make sure that everything is orderly and safe next weekend and thereafter.
"We've decided this weekend, no alcohol, and thereafter we'll work out some interim arrangements... until such time as we can come to firmer conclusions and make some more permanent arrangements," The Straits Times reported him as saying.
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