At one point of time, if you Googled “French military victories” and hit the “I’m Feeling Lucky” button, this is what you’d get:
He heard the message over the police radio that gunmen were attacking the Bataclan theatre, and seeing that he was close by, rushed down to the scene.
There, the unnamed police commissioner and his partner charged into the chaos, reports the Associated Press.
They were the first to arrive.
The police commissioner drew his handgun (yes, a handgun) and shot down one terrorist before he could take aim with this rifle.
Then, he and his partner retreated so Special Forces could assemble for their attack.
Speaking after the incident, the police commissioner said “In hindsight, I know that we saved dozens, maybe hundreds of lives.”
The head of the Special Forces team also praised the police commissioner, saying “It’s their action that made it possible to stop the killing.”
A French Commissioner is equivalent of a Chief Superintendent in Britain and Hong Kong, who heads a district.
That would put him on par with a Division Commander in Singapore.
Let’s rewind now to the Little India Riots, and Commander of Tanglin Police Division DAC (Deputy Assistant Commissioner) Lu Yeow Lim.
For half an hour after arriving on scene, he gave no orders.
The COI, which included former Police Commissioner Tee Tua Ba, pressed DAC Lu to answer for why he acted in such a manner, in which he replied.
“I explained to the Deputy Commissioner of Police that I would hold the position until the SOC arrived. I was not going to yield this position. If they had come to attack me, that would be a different proposition.”
I wonder what the “different proposition” would be – to fight or flee.
The COI also noted that while DAC Lu literally stood his ground, Deputy Superintendent Lim Sin Bin was able to walk through the rioters to his position to .
Around him, other lower-ranking officers such as Assistant Superintendent Jonathan Tang (below), were getting stuck in, in the trenches.
In the event of a terror attack, are our leaders ready to lead?
I certainly hope they’ve learnt from the mistakes of the past and have developed their capabilities to manage disasters, which can erupt from out of the blue.
As for the brave policemen on that night who, like the Paris police commissioner, put their lives in harm’s way to “protect life and property” as the police pledge goes, you’ve lived up to your values and done Singapore proud.