He was first to inform us

He was first to inform us

Even when he was in the epicentre of the riots, The New Paper reader Joe Yeo's sixth sense as a reader was to inform the paper about the unfolding violence.

Mr Yeo, who is a wheelchair user as a result of an industrial accident, was also the first to inform us about the Little India riot last Sunday night.

The riot, Singapore's first in almost 50 years, left 22 police officers, five auxiliary police officers and 12 Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers injured, and 16 police vehicles and nine SCDF vehicles damaged.

Mr Yeo, who is working odd jobs, was on his way to The Banana Leaf Apolo restaurant when he saw a huge ruckus at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road at around 9.30pm.

He said: "I could see Indian nationals flipping cars and fighting whoever they saw.

"They were all going berserk and destroying everything!

"Beer bottles and rubbish bins were flying everywhere, and I was terrified that I might die there."

After witnessing the violence about 40m away, he immediately wheeled himself to the restaurant to complete his job of collecting bills before heading to a friend's coffee shop nearby for dinner.

He said the riots also caused him to be admitted to Changi General Hospital the following morning.


"I woke up on Monday and felt severe chest pain and eye pain. It could have been caused by the smoke at the riot the previous night," he said.

Mr Yeo, who has been a reader of the paper for more than 10 years, said: "It is second nature for supporters of the paper like me to inform the paper about any news."

For the tip-off and having his story published, Mr Yeo will receive $100 worth of Manhattan Fish Market vouchers and two T-shirts worth $60.

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