This is the full transcript of the police press conference for the Little India riots that happened late last night: http://www.tnp.sg/content/little-india-riot-transcript-press-conference-police-hq
My friend was complaining on Steam chat on how stupid some of the questions were. Here is one legendary classic:
Q: Such an incident has not happened since when in Singapore?
I am willing to forgive the second example, because not everyone’s grammar is perfect. A better, grammatically correct way to phrase it would be: “When was the last time such an incident has happened in Singapore?”
But the first example is simply not acceptable. I suspect the reporter who asked that question must have played way too much Borderlands 2 or something (“Explosions?” is the trademark quote of Mr Torgue, a Borderlands 2 character). Instead of “What about the explosions?” or “Could you please tell us more about the explosions?”, a short and blunt “Explosions?” just sounds plain rude and stupid.
And the next two questions that immediately followed were just… wow:
NJH: That’s the vehicles that were on fire, and the explosions were the result of that, not the weapons.
Q: But you said that they were carrying dangerous weapons.
NJH: Police are armed, as you know.
Q: Sorry I thought you said there were dangerous weapons.
NJH: No, no, you talking about the police? We did not discharge any weapons.
I don’t know what the reporter’s definition of “dangerous weapons” is, and why he seemed so insistent on making the connection that dangerous weapons = explosive weapons. Or how he could not draw the conclusion that a vehicle fire would eventually cause the vehicle to explode.
My sister, and many other people on social media, were curious as to why the police did not use tear gas or water cannons to disperse the rioters. This would have been an excellent question to ask the police: “You mentioned that the police did not fire any weapons during the incident. Under what sort of circumstances would the police be authorised to use weapons?”
Mr Teo Chee Hean and the police chiefs are busy people, and can only spare a short moment to organise a quick press conference. Don’t waste their time (and that of the other reporters who did ask some good questions), by asking stupid things like “Explosions?”
I commend the police for their aptitude and efficiency in bringing the riots under control. These are the first riots in Singapore in almost 40 years, and I am proud to live in a country where the law enforcement are doing their jobs, and doing it very well.
But once again, I am completely disappointed by the people working in our local media. I am a Mass Communications degree holder who majored in PR and Journalism. I’ve never held a full-time job as a reporter before, but I have attended videogame conferences in the past for No Game No Talk. Even I can ask way better questions than “Explosions?”