True to his scholarly background, Ng rolled out statistics to prove he is grossly under-manned, and wants money for 1,000 more officers. As of Dec 31, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has 8,784 officers, which works out to be a 614 ratio of population to policemen. This is nearly twice Tokyo's 303, which is worse off than Hongkong's 252 or New York's 242. It looks like 1,000 more men in blue won't improve the ranking by much. And the SPF does have the 3,688 full time National Servicemen and 2,000 volunteer policemen to beef up the numbers. All they need to do is put on the impressive uniforms and scare the rioters to submission. That was the commissioner's original bitch, 54 "policemen at best" to face off 400 rioters. The numbers vary depending on who's doing the telling, and whether you include bystanders and busybodies whipping out smartphone cameras.
Ng admitted communications were "totally screwed up" and "non-existent". Then we are told there is a "large technological enhancement" in command and control that is currently being installed. Taking years to implement, Ng says it should be in place by year-end. Since we don't know when the project was first initiated, we can't tell if the delay is worse off than the 40 odd minutes it took for the Special Operations Command (SOC) troops to dash from City Hall to Little India. Hopefully it will all happen before the powder keg that is Geylang will blow up. Last year Police Tactical Troops were sent to Little India for anti-crime patrols only 16 times, compared to 41 times in Geylang where, we are told, there is "overt hostility and antagonism towards police presence".
Whatever happens, the Commissioner is in no danger of losing his decorative medals anytime soon. Quite unlike former Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) protocol chief Lim Cheng Hoe, who has been stripped of all his public service awards - Public Administration Medal (Silver), Commendation Medal, Efficiency Medal, and Long Service Medal - for his predilection for pineapple tarts. Scholars never fail, they are just promoted according to Peter's Principle.