Hundreds of spectators were locked out of the SEA Games closing ceremony on Tuesday, despite having valid tickets for entry. This fiasco resulted after organizers for the event oversold tickets and ended up with more spectators than the National Stadium could accommodate,
In the midst of the chaos on Tuesday, eye witnesses reported ugly incidents where frustrated spectators abused volunteers and security staff at the venue.
According to 23 year-old Ms Teo Su Xin, who waited 40 minutes before she was allowed in, tempers flared in the crowd as the volunteers did their best to manage the huge group of people gathering at the entrances to the stadium.
“We couldn’t enter. They (volunteers) said it was a full house and volunteers kept asking us to move from one gate to another and I just followed the crowd, but there was this uncle who was agitated and raised his voice at the volunteers,” Ms Teo said. “I don’t think they deserved such treatment as they were merely carrying out instructions given to them,”
Mr Mark Tan, who was unable to enter, blamed the organizers for failing to inform and give instructions to the volunteers.
“They were effectively abandoned by whoever should have been coordinating them,” he said.
50 year-old Ms Paddy Low, who waited 45 minutes but could not enter the venue, said that the volunteers were put in “a difficult spot”. “They didn’t know why there was such a situation. I feel srry for them as they kept getting scolded by people.”
“The crowd definitely grew rowdy, frustrated and impatient, shouting at the security and volunteer team at Gate 14. A man carrying a baby also shouted at those on duty,” says another spectator, who wished to remain anonymous,
“One of the volunteers, a young student, was scolded until she broke down and cried. I don’t think that’s the way to treat our volunteers. They are just there to help,” she added.