Finally, we have a police officer who threw caution to the wind and decided to “engage’’ the rioters. Sergeant Fadli, just 27, a traffic cop, charged the crowd three times until he was told by his supervisor to stop. Or he would have continued charging. He said he would actually have made the crowd move towards Buffalo Road instead of driving them into the Little India MRT station which his earlier efforts resulted in. So he was also thinking furiously at the time….
It looked like his training or his cop instincts kicked in. He doesn’t seem to have been trained in crowd control (not reported) nor was he holding on to a shield. Maybe he thought his motorcycle helmet was a good enough shield. I think we should never under-estimate our traffic cops again. Maybe his encounters with irate motorists have stiffened his spine so much that he knew and acted like “the law’’.
He was asked by ex-Commissioner Tee Tua Ba if things would have improved if more officers acted with him. His reply: “I don’t know Sir. You just need maybe one officer or 10 officers to disperse the crowd.’’
Said Mr Tee: “I agree’’
Said COI chairman Pannir Selvam: “A few good men, as they say.’’
Seems like the other cops who took the stand were really, really grilled, especially the leading officer who was among those who got out of an ambulance and, errrrm, ran away. Senior Station Inspector Adil, 42, the same person who told Sergeant Fadli to stop charging, made much of holding on to the rear door of the ambulance to prevent rioters from entering and how he was the last man to get out. Seems that didn’t cut much ice with the COI who kept returning to the question of the police asserting control instead of letting the rioters lead.
One thing I noticed: There are photographs of Sergeant Fadli but none of SSI Adil in the English-language newspapers. How come? He gave the media the slip?
Give Sergeant Fadli a medal! And give us a picture of SSI Adil…