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Singapore's Little India alcohol ban criticised

Rights activists and opposition politicians on Friday slammed an alcohol ban imposed by the Singapore government in an district hit by rioting last weekend.

The ban will take effect this Saturday and Sunday in Little India, which saw the city-state’s worst civil unrest in decades on Sunday.

Hundreds of migrant workers from India and Bangladesh clashed with police and set fire to vehicles after an Indian labourer was hit by a bus and died.

But critics say the ban amounts to an "alcohol apartheid" and have expressed concern that the government may extend it in the future.

Government ministers "are conveniently suggesting that alcohol consumption is to blame for the riot rather than looking to their own failed immigration and labour policies," said Kenneth Jeyaretnam, leader of the opposition Reform Party.

"Statements such as these also carry the subliminal message that ’Indians’ are somehow more likely to abuse alcohol and become violent than other groups."//DPA


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