Little India riot: We don't want any kind of violence

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, spoke to the media during a doorstop on Tuesday regarding the riot in Little India.

On dealing with foreign workers:

"I think what happened was unacceptable and that is the view of the majority of Singaporeans. I think they will want us to take swift, clear and decisive action to bring the perpetrators to justice and the full force of justice has to be meted out. Beyond that, I will say I can share two thoughts.

"One, I think many Singaporeans, like-minded Singaporeans, recognise that we do need these several hundred thousand foreign workers here to build our flats, roads, MRT stations and so on. Thousands of couples are waiting for their flats.

"At the same time, Singaporeans, we want our society to be peaceful, structured, orderly. We don't want any kind of violence. And so we need the workers but we have to structure it in a way that the violence is completely reduced."

On this weekend's alcohol ban:

"I think the ban arose from the perception that many of them who were rioting were seen to be drinking beforehand and that alcohol was

possibly an important cause. "It is said that the man who tried to get on the bus dropped off the bus, bent down, he dropped his pants and was obviously drunk. So I think the sense is, well, if we banned the alcohol then such violence fuelled by alcohol at least can be removed as a factor."

On unhappiness among foreign workers:

"There is nothing to suggest that they were not paid. There is nothing to suggest that they all had a single employer. There is nothing to suggest that they had any particular unhappiness with the government or any other authority."

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