University College Dublin
National University of Ireland
Bachelor of Science (Singapore)
Cross Cultural Management
Pre Course Assignment
Lecturer: Dr. Richard Tan
Student Name: Zefanya Amarya Titiheruw
Student Number: 1320 7826
Intake: BSc20 (B)
Word Count : 4047 words
Summary of Article
December 8, 2013 – a riot involving 400 people took place in Little India at around 9 pm. The situation arises after the SCDF (Singapore Civil Defense Force) located a crowd of Indian workers gathered around a coach at the junction of Race Course Road and Hampshire Road when an Indian national was found dead.
In total, at least 31 of the uniformed officers were injured – 27 police and the other four from the Singapore Civil Defense Force.16 police cars were damaged and destroyed, alongside with two ambulances and several private vehicles, also at least four of the police cars overturned.
It all began earlier that evening when on the bus a constructer worker from South India, Sakthivel Kumaravelu, appeared to be drunk. Witnesses onboard said he was creating scenes and troubles then he was assisted off the bus. The Singaporean national bus driver then drove along the route until he heard a loud thud and next found out the dead body of Mr Sakthivel, under the rear wheel of his bus.
First police fast response car arrives to extricate the body only the crowd had then congregated, and grown rancorous. They started throwing bullets, beer bottles lit like fire-bombs and other dangerous weapons thrown to the police officer while SCDF rescuers were extricating the body. The riot was brought under control two hours after the accident. It cannot be ignored that the violence first took place on targeted uniformed personnel, specifically those who responded first to the accident.
Majority of Singaporeans found this incident extremely shocking. According to their country’s history the last Singapore’s real riot happened ages ago in 1969, the least unexpected event to be repeated.
The Prime Minister, has set up a committee to investigate factors that arises this incident and how it was handled. There will be a temporary ban for the coming weekend on the sale and consumption of alcohol in Little India.
Looking at the incident from another glass, there may be another possible interpretation. The reason behind this riot is the bus accident BUT not the TRIGGER of this entire riot. It has something to do with cultural differences.
These workers, coolie, are classified as low-class workers. The danger level of construction working is unequal to their pay. No Singaporean would want to work so heavily and receive low pay. Notice that Singaporeans do not associate with them it is primarily because of social status. Majority of these coolie workers live together (up to 20 people) in one house – this is unhealthy and may trig behavioral problems. But Indians have high level of solidarity amongst each other. Blood is thicker than water they say. Therefore, it is in their nature to help any ‘brothers and sisters’ in need which is rare to find in Singaporean culture.
According to Mr Rintu Chakravarthy, an Indian national, now a Singapore citizen, in India crowds have a tendency of ganging up to take on bullies. For example, in street culture in India, a pedestrian crossing the road wrongly, if hit by a scooter, the mob would attack the scooter. And if the scooter is hit by a car, the mob would attack the car. If the car is hit by a bus, the mob would attack the bus. After analyzing I felt that this was the reason why the situation led into a riot. There is this huge wave of sympathy towards a fellow brother. These people were mad because spectators only saw their ‘brother’ dead lying motionless on the ground not knowing he was actually drunk. The thought of ‘hit and killed’ must be on everybody’s mind. With the culture they were brought up in...
Source : Brooke, R. 2010. Cultural Dimensions Index Score for Selected Countries. [image online] Available at: http://www.google.com.sg/search?q=cultural+profile&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=8w01U9ecDse-rgfzoYHgCQ&ved=0CAYQ_AUoAQ&biw=1071&bih=580#q=cultural+index+graph+singapore&tbm=isch&facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=KyKPKAWMbf7NeM%253A%3BCAH6aU-_CDi07M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fjseaford.files.wordpress.com%252F2010%252F08%252Fgraph.png%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fjseaford.wordpress.com%252F2010%252F08%252F13%252Fhofstedes-cultural-consequences-international-differences-in-work-related-values%252F%3B786%3B584 [Accessed: 27 Mar 2014].
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