Little India Riot Inquiry: Cisco manager says officers 'firm but fair' to foreign workers

A MANAGER from security firm Certis Cisco told the Committee of Inquiry into the Dec 8 riot that its auxiliary police officers have not drawn any complaint for mistreating or wrongfully fining foreign workers in Little India.

This after the COI had been told earlier during the public hearing that these officers have been harsh on foreign workers while on their patrols in the ethnic enclave.

Certis Cisco deputy operations manager Lin Shunzhong, who was testifying before the committee on Monday, said his firm would take disciplinary action against officers guilty of abusing their powers.

He said that he has seen his officers engage foreign workers in Little India in a "firm but fair manner". "I have never seen any of my officers verbally or physically abusing the foreign workers," he added.

When a foreign worker is caught for littering - which carries a $300 composition fine for first-time offenders - urinating or spitting in public, they usually try to deny it or plead for a second chance. Some, he said, even cry due to the hefty fines.

He and Certis Cisco officer Malini Naidu said they have noticed drunk workers in the area.

In contrast, former Nominated MP Shriniwas Rai - who frequents Little India at least once a week - told the COI that drunk workers are not a problem in the area.

"I have never, in the last 20 years, come across somebody drunk (in Little India)," he said initially. But after grilling by COI chairman G. Pannir Selvam, Mr Rai later said he had seen workers urinating and vomiting in public.

"I will concede that, having heard drunkenness is a problem, my little experience may be (an) exception," he said.

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