Khaw Boon Wan clarifies Facebook post showing South Asian workers in mock riot
National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan has clarified the circumstances surrounding a recent mock riot simulation exercise that has drawn flak from netizens.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, he said the intent of the exercise was to "promote mutual understanding with the local community".
Mr Khaw said the exercise was "well received by the various stakeholders: grassroots, SPF, SCDF and foreign workers ambassadors".
"They found it to be a meaningful collaboration which bonded the residents and foreign workers," he wrote.
The lengthy explanation comes after Mr Khaw's initial Facebook post on the last month's exercise provoked the ire of netizens.
Mr Khaw had put up photos on Tuesday (Nov 11) Monday of South Asian foreign workers in a mock riot simulation exercise in an album titled "Joint exercise with Police, SCDF & foreign worker ambassadors".
The presence of just South Asian foreign workers led to critics calling the exercise "distasteful".
'Review agencies’ responses'
The Singapore Police said in a press release on Wednesday (Nov 12) that the recent exercise in a dormitory is "one of several regular exercises that SPF and SCDF conduct together with dormitory operators and stakeholders".
Wee Chwee Huat Dormitory, where the exercise was held, houses only residents from South Asia, it stated.
"In this case, the exercise on Oct 26 was meant to review agencies’ responses to a public order incident that had occurred within the dormitory premise."
The police said such exercises are necessary to ensure that the necessary protocols and processes are in place to deal with a variety of incidents that could take place in a dormitory.
"Such exercises also give our officers an opportunity to fine-tune their emergency response measures, and to reach out to their stakeholders to explain emergency procedures and share crime prevention messages," it said.