SINGAPORE - Geylang is a hotbed of illegal gambling, contraband cigarette peddling and drug dealing, Commissioner of Police Ng Joo Hee told the Committee of Inquiry hearings into the Little India riot last week.
The police chief also noted the "overt hostility and antagonism towards the police" in Geylang, all of which make the district "a potential powder keg".
He added: "It is common knowledge that the gangsters and the crooks like to congregate in Geylang. So all in all, Geylang presents an ecosystem which is complex, which is tinged with a certain criminal undertone, and this is quite in contrast with Little India, although Little India also has changed," he said.
Unlike Little India, Mr Ng said all the indications of potential trouble are there in Geylang because "crime numbers are high and disproportionately so, and crimes of particular concern like robbery, rioting and affray remain persistent and always threaten to run away."
Last year, there were 49 cases of rioting, assault and affray in Geylang, compared to 25 in Little India.
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