Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean told Parliament yesterday (July 7) that the Government accepted all of the recommendations by the Committee of Inquiry (COI) report into the Little India riot.
DPM Teo, also the Home Affairs Minister, elaborated on the COI recommendations and the key measures to strengthen the Home team, such as increasing the manpower for Singapore's riot police and reviewing the training of frontline officers.
The Workers' Party Chairperson and MP Sylvia Lim rose to question the Government's response to the report.
Below is an exchange between Lim and DPM Teo in the House:
Sylvia Lim: I would like to ask DPM whether he agrees that no amount of training can really be substituted for actual practice in policing such incidents, and in this light, will (he) consider for example that the police should allow more peaceful protests in Singapore in certain designated roads so that the police can ... on a regular basis test their policing capabilities in terms of policing cause-based crowds?
Check out DPM Teo's eyebrows:
Check out the reactions in the background:
Face palm (from Nominated MP Laurence Lien):
Heh heh heh (from Pasir Ris-Punggol MP Zainal Sapari):
What (from NMP R Dhinakaran):
Teo: Whether we want to deliberately allow protests and demonstrations in order to give the police and the Special Operations Command (SOC) practice, perhaps Ms Lim might want to go one step further and say allow the protests to get out of hand so that they get a little bit more practice? Why not? Since we want to give them practice?
Check out that million dollar smile (from Ang Mo Kio MP Yeo Guat Kwang) in the background:
Lim: ... we don’t want damage to property or loss of life, but peaceful protests are arguably a freedom to civil liberty (that) we want to protect.
Sylvia Lim seems to be saying, "Corright anot? You tell me corright anot?":
Check out another smile, this time from West Coast GRC MP Foo Mee Har, while the other four WP MPs remained stoic in their expressions.
Teo: We can see the logic or the lack of it in purposely allowing protests and demonstrations just in order for the SOC to practise. But I should say that one of the reasons why I want to increase the size of the SOC is because we have a lot of events in Singapore ... large-scale events, and you don’t really need to deliberately allow protests to take place in order to give the SOC practice. Quite frankly, I don’t think many Singaporeans would want to see more chaos, demonstrations on the street disrupting their daily lives and also taking up resources which can be used for other purposes.