Forgive but don't forget

Forgive but don't forget
Impact: Burn marks seen on Race Course Road the day after the Little India riot.

When Mr Choo Jia Leh came out after his 30-minute bath, he was shocked to see 20 missed calls and more than 10 messages registered on his mobile phone.

The 62-year-old provision shop assistant recalls the panic in his daughter's voice when he finally returned her call.

"She was literally screaming and I could barely make out that she was asking, 'Where are you? Are you still at your workplace? Are you okay?'," says Mr Choo.

It turns out that Madam June Choo had heard about the riot at Little India and was worried for her father, who helps out at his friend's shop every weekend.

Madam Choo, 35, a housewife, recalls: "I know my father usually leaves the place (on Serangoon Road) at around 9pm or 10pm. I was worried when news of the riot started to stream in online."

Mr Choo, a widower, is comforted by his daughter's concern but he adds: "Aiyoh, what a pity I missed out on all the action."

He had left for home earlier on Dec 8 because he wanted to catch the Fulham versus Aston Villa match.

Tell Mr Choo that it was not an adventure and he says: "I know lah but basically, there is nothing to fear."

He insists that many of the foreign workers who walk into the shop are friendly.

"Once in a while, you get a few who have had too much to drink, but they leave when you shoo them away."

Things were relatively normal last Friday at different pockets of Little India.


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