The Singapore Police today (July 27) announced that the food centre in Little India’s Tekka Centre, from next Monday (Aug 1) will be banned from selling alcohol as early as after 6pm. According to the Singapore Police, selling alcohol in Tekka centre after 6pm “pose law and order risks”.
The alcohol ban is viewed as racist and discriminatory against the poor, as Little India is a favourite haunt of foreign workers having a cheap hangout. Other places with crimes resulted from disorderly behaviour due to alcohol like Clark Quay and Holland Village are not given similar ban. The public also perceive the new law as a discrimination against poorer neighbourhood, because no alcohol ban has ever been implemented in areas where there are rich people.
Earlier in 2013, a riot broke out in Little India due to the discontentment of foreign workers. The Singapore Police failed to control the riot, while the rioters targeted only government vehicles like police cars. The Singapore government however dismissed the riot as a result from alcohol sales in Little India, and denied there is any discontentment on employment issues with foreign workers.
Foreign workers in Singapore are mostly exploited by their employers and their wages go as cheap as S$700 a month excluding deductions. As other factors like poor living conditions in dormitories, denial of injuries compensation and extreme poverty built up the grievances, the foreign workers rallied on 2013 and rioted. After the incident, the Singapore government then implement alcohol ban and multiplied police presence in the area.