Little India Riot Inquiry: Psychologist on what probably added fuel to fire

1 Need for 'street retributive justice'

The workers said their friend was dead under the bus and they wanted to beat the bus driver up. But authorities obstructed them from meting out the "punishment". This resulted in workers turning their attention to he emergency services personnel.

2 Alcohol

Causes extreme emotions (especially frustration), lowers inhibition, impairs information processing and gives a sense of "bravado".

3 Sense of perceived injustice

A series of actions created a "us versus them" mentality. First, the bus driver and timekeeper retreated into the bus. Workers thought that by hiding in the bus, the duo were trying to evade responsibility for the accident.

Civil defence personnel then attended to the locals first and police and auxiliary police officers discouraged attacks on the bus.

4 Overcrowding and congestion

The accident site could have been a high-density and disorderly situation which created emotional stress.

5 Lack of familiarity with Singaporean way of life

Possible lack of trust of local authorities due to little exposure to the mainstream way of life in Singapore.

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