Clarke Quay Chaos: Police, NEA Officers Incapable of Preventing Super-Spreader Event


Party-goers believed in to be in the hundreds gathered spontaneously for a New Year’s Eve countdown party over the weekend at Clare Quay.

The incident was caught on video and has led to many questioning the competency of the police and NEA officers in managing crowds two years into the Covid-19 pandemic.

Especially, since many business-owners in the area say they are used to seeing crowds gather during holidays and special occasions.

Eyewitnesses gave different accounts of police officers at the scene, reporting a range of about 2 to 10 police officers.

They said that the policemen were taking down particulars of some of the people.

It is uncertain how many Safe Distancing Enforcement Officers (SDAs) from the NEA were present, and whether they had pulled their weight on the occasion.

It was only at around 4am that the crow began to leave, according to some eyewitnesses.

A disgruntled public has lashed out at the police and NEA, calling the leadership incompetent.

Said Vivian Toh:

“The leaders must have been sleeping on the job. Don’t tell me you cannot expect that such things will happen especially during this kind of festive occasions at these party spots? Where were the preparations? Now it’s too late even if they go and catch all those involved. All our effort to safe-distance has been wasted.”

Others criticised the police force, saying that this isn’t the first time they have been caught napping.

“Look at the KTV incident (which led to one of Singapore’s biggest Covid clusters). Look at Boat Quay last time when the ang mohs just broke the rules in broad daylight with all the SDAs and police walking around. Now this. What happened to being proactive? You put so many restrictions on people, but ownself never check ownself.”

Some wondered why no swift action was taken to disperse the crowd before it grew.

“Every time you see the ang chia (SOC officers) at Clarke Quay. There are always policemen there on weekends. And with the holidays, of course you will expect bigger crowds. It is surprising that even a layman can see this problem coming but the authorities cannot.”

The Multi-Ministry Task Force said that the event involved blatant breaches of safe management rules and is a potential superspreading event.

Jalan Besar GRC MP Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah said the gathering was not under the town council’s purview as the area is not within the town council’s common property area.

Authorities are investigating the matter.


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