Riot Recollections

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The riot that struck Little India on 8 December 2013 was the worst outbreak of violence Singapore had experienced in four decades. Within minutes, updates—and judgments—poured in thick and fast from netizens around the island and beyond. Both mainstream and alternative media issued their own explanations of the events that unfolded that night. Issues of class, the treatment of migrant workers and the efficiency of the riot force, amongst others, were brought to light for scrutiny in the conversations that followed. When rioters were often simply referred to as a mob—whether unruly and inebriated or as victims of xenophobia and slack legislation—it is easy to forget that individuals were involved.

Riot Recollections brings us back to the ground and to the individuals who were in the thick of events at Race Course Road. As the noise from disgruntled and shocked Singaporeans die down, the witnesses now speak, offering a glimpse into a place that still carries the trauma of the riot long after all debris has been cleared.

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Riot Recollections

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"Through these stories, one will see a kaleidoscope of immediate encounters and impacts from vast angles of the incident... The simple, yet descriptive writing transports the readers to where the witnesses were or what the interviewees felt. The stories are rich in detail and coated with metaphors, painting the scenarios of both the riot and the interviews, disclosing the witnesses’ emotions to the readers." —Clarissa Cheang, NP Tribune


Zakaria Zainal, Prabhu Silvam