SINGAPORE — Nine men aged between 24 and 54 are helping with police investigations over a massive fistfight incident that happened at a workers’ dormitory along Tanah Merah Coast Road.
According to Lianhe Zaobao, police were alerted at 10.38 pm on Tuesday (17 Jan) to a commotion at the workers’ dormitory.
A 2-minute and 21-second video recently circulated on social media shows that several foreign workers were gathering at the staircase, throwing punches at each other.
One of the topless men wearing only underwear can be seen kicking a yellow T-shirt worker on his chest. Another white-shirt worker was surrounded by three topless men.
The video then shifted to show a large crowd of workers who gathered at the badminton court on the ground floor of the dormitory.
At the end of the video, a person assumably from the dormitory management seems to be trying to mediate the workers’ issue. The two groups of workers appear to be of different races.
However, when the police arrived, the commotion had already ceased.
Police identified the workers involved in the fight through follow-up investigations and with the aid of CCTV footage. But they did not state the name of the dormitory and the nationalities of the men under investigation.
Investigations are ongoing.
Packed and restricted
More than 300,000 of Singapore’s migrant workers live in worker dormitories similar to the one where the fight took place. Most are men from India, Bangladesh or China, sharing rooms that accommodate as many as 20 people.
It was announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in June last year that migrant workers residing in dormitories will no longer need an exit pass to visit community areas from 24 June onwards.
A new mechanism was introduced to manage the high footfall at four locations – Chinatown, Geylang Serai, Jurong East and Little India. If a migrant worker wishes to visit one of these popular locations during Sundays and public holidays, he will have to apply for a visit pass.
“Up to 80,000 such passes will be made available in total per Sunday or public holiday. For a start, there will be 30,000 passes for Little India, 20,000 for Jurong East, and 15,000 for each of the remaining two locations. No passes will be needed if MWs are visiting community areas including popular places on weekdays, Saturdays or non-public holidays, or if they are visiting other locations in Singapore on Sundays and public holidays.”