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Singapore grapples with rare rioting

Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:39

Dec. 9 - A rare riot has shocked Singapore, and stirs up concerns over discontent among foreign workers. Michaela Cabrera reports.

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Singaporeans are wondering what could've been behind the collective anger which sparked a rare case of rioting in Little India overnight. A crowd set fire to vehicles and clashed with police after a foreign worker was believed to have been hit and killed by a bus. A day later, much of the debris had been cleared. (SOUNDBITE) (English) 30-YEAR-OLD ENGINEER WHO IDENTIFIED HERSELF AS GAYATHIRI, SAYING: "A lot of it has to do with the influx of foreigners who are coming in, and the situation has pretty much got out of control, I think this is the tip of the iceberg and there is more to come." (SOUNDBITE) (English) 40-YEAR-OLD SINGAPOREAN SOFIAH, SAYING: "Everybody who comes here, or stays here, wants a better life, I fully understand how they feel sometimes, you know. So the government should work something out, for the foreign workers to have a better life here. Living standards in Singapore." The violence comes when the public is debating the pros and cons of foreign workers. The government is urging calm and says police are investigating. The deputy prime minister has said Singapore remains open to migrant workers, but the government will not tolerate rioting. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SINGAPORE MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT LUI TUCK YEW SAYING: "Well, I don't want to cast this as a "foreign workers versus us" situation, or try and overlay a racial tone to it, because I don't believe that that is the case, so far." Twenty-seven people have been arrested, and punishment could be up to seven years in prison, and possibly, caning.

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Singapore grapples with rare rioting

Monday, December 09, 2013 - 01:39