'Heroine at Little India Riot: I had no time to feel fear

'Heroine at Little India Riot: I had no time to feel fear

I was just a little speck in a huge mess.

Lieutenant Tiffany Neo, 26, said this yesterday in recalling her role in the Little India riot last December, which made her one of the heroes in that mess.

The plucky lieutenant was the team leader of the first Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) response team at the fatal accident that sparked the riot on Dec 8 last year.

She commanded a team of five that removed the body of the victim, Mr Sakthivel Kumaravelu, from under a bus and escorted the bus driver and timekeeper to safety.

All this happened in the midst of a communication breakdown and organisational chaos.

For her bravery and quick thinking, Lt Neo was commended in March by the Committee of Inquiry (COI) looking into the incident. The COI released its findings and recommendations yesterday.

Lt Neo spoke to The New Paper at the Central Fire Station yesterday, where she had been stationed on the night of the riot.

Newly trained

At the time, she was just three months into her new job as a rota (shift) commander, having just graduated from her eight-month training programme at the Civil Defence Academy.

Clad in her No. 4 uniform, she recalled her involvement in the events on that fateful night.

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