Riot exercise a 'meaningful collaboration'
A riot exercise involving foreign workers two weeks ago has drawn flak from netizens and migrant worker groups after National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan posted photos of it on his Facebook page.
Last night, Mr Khaw said the exercise helped promote mutual understanding with the local community. In the pictures, South Asian workers are shown raising their fists in the air and throwing plastic bottles at police officers carrying shields.
Scores of netizens commented that it was insensitive to get these workers to stage the re-enactment.
Mr Khaw, in response, posted a comment in the Facebook post and said that the exercise was a "meaningful collaboration" between residents and foreign workers.
The minister, who was not in Singapore when the exercise was conducted in a dormitory in Sembawang, added that his "grassroots leaders who helped organise the exercise reported to me... that the exercise went well and was well received by the various stakeholders..."
He wrote: "This is one of the many engagement and education sessions conducted by our grassroots and government agencies with foreign workers, regardless of nationality or race..."
Responding to media queries last night, the police said in a statement that the exercise was held at the Wee Chwee Huat Dormitory on Oct 26.
It was one of several regular exercises that the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) "conduct together with dormitory operators and stakeholders".
These exercises are necessary to ensure that SPF, SCDF and dormitory operators have the necessary protocols and processes in place to deal with a variety of incidents that could potentially take place in these premises.
"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," said the police statement.