The government is trying very hard to keep the morale of the police force up in the aftermath of the huge embarrassment the Home Team suffered during the Little India riot. PM Lee Hsien Loong had a highly-publicised lunch with the key members of the team who had a hard time dealing with the rioters on the night of Dec 8 last year.
Then came the announcement that the wages of officers were being increased. And here’s news that five police and five civil defence officers were given commendation medals in this year’s National Day awards.
The interviews with some of them don’t spell out what their heroic deeds were on that night. One report had ASP Edwin Yong, who helped form a human cordon around the bus that had run over an Indian foreign worker, saying his team members offered him their riot helmets because there were not enough to go around.
“You really feel quite touched when you have them trying to protect their team leader,” he said.
Another said the burning and flipping of police and civil defence vehicles turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
ASP Jonathan Tang said: “Every vehicle they damaged bought me more time. I got at least 15 minutes more…As long as they are not going around setting fire to the shophouses, I am okay. Because this is a police car, you can replace it.”
He forgot to mention that the damaged cars were bought with taxpayers’ money.