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Singapore Little India Riot - how you could have survived it

You probably have now heard about the Little India Riot that happened very recently. This is the first riot that has broken out in Singapore since the racial riots of the 1960s. Compared to many other countries around the world, this is probably a stellar safety record. Events like this are really few and far between therefore something like this definitely still rocks our nation as a whole.  We are so small as a country and everything around us is just so interconnected.

Apart from the larger socio-political issues at hand while trying to figure out the cause of such an event, you might be wondering how such an event impacts you personally. I myself could very well have been at the scene of the riot as I do get that occasional craving for some good Indian food and a nice walk around Mustafa Center after dinner always complements it well for me! Now that hits a little close to home as the riots happened all around those areas I frequent when I do head down there. All in all, multiple police cars and rescue vehicles were damaged and set on fire in the process. It appears that there were also civilian vehicles parked in the vicinity that were damaged by flying projectiles thrown by the rioters. The thing is, no one expected this riot to ever happen. If we did, measures would have been taken, such as avoiding Little India at that time as well as beefing up security measures.


This reminds me of a riot that happened in Vancouver, Canada in the last couple of years after the ice hockey home team lost a game. Now Vancouver is much like Singapore where events such as this, hardly ever happen. Fortunately I was not in the vicinity when it happened but I know of many friends who were. The damage was way worse than the Little India riots as multiple shops were damaged, looted etc. However my point is, you never know when events like this might break out. As for the Little India Riot, the civilian vehicles parked around the area that were damaged could have belonged to you or me. If you were abroad traveling and a riot broke out and you were hit by a stone or bottle thrown by a rioter, you may well need emergency medical attention.

What you can do if a riot breaks out

Your best bet would be to avoid being in a possible riot situation by keeping up with the news but sometimes riots breakout without warning much like the Little India Riot. If you find yourself caught in a riot, here are some simple tips to follow.

  1. Keep Calm - Frantically running around is not going to do you any good. Keep calm and be aware of your surroundings. Try to find a wall and keep your back towards it. This will minimize flying projectiles hitting you from behind.
  2. Blend In - Blending in doesn't mean joining in on the riot but rather try not to draw the attention of other rioters or from the police. Blending in also does not mean standing around to watch the rioters loot and damage items. Instead, take the time to find your best escape route.
  3. Driving - If you happen to be in a car and a riot breaks out around you, stay calm and drive away slowly but surely as opposed to aggressively. Rioting pedestrians are not going to like being run over so refrain from making sudden and violent turns unless your life depended on it. If you are left with no choice, give up the car. It isn't worth your life.
  4. All in all, there is no hard and fast rule of what to do in a riot. Just think of a riot as an earthquake and you want to get yourself away from the epicenter as quickly and safely as possible.

Here at DirectAsia.com, we offer anything from car insurance to travel insurance and term life insurance policies However, do note that in the event of any damages done to your car, this will not be covered if it happens in a riot. We also have a simple travel insurance plan that will cover you for medical expenses incurred while traveling abroad.  If need be, emergency medical evacuation is also included if you ever need to be flown out for immediate medical attention while traveling abroad. Any transportation delays or cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances may well be covered too. Don’t forget to check us out at DirectAsia.com for more information on what you can do to keep yourself covered!