I read with amusement the discovery of a vandal with a sense of humour hitting the streets of Singapore.
Armed with stickers and stencils, a 25 year old graffiti artist proceeded to decorate traffic lights with stickers such as “Press until Shiok” and “Anyhow press police catch”.
It put a smile on my face when I first read about it. The stickers were ingenious really, this was the type of thing Singaporeans would actually say, so having our thoughts verbalized on a sticker was just amusing. Personally, I don’t see the harm anyway, the stickers brightened my day, and I dare say many other people’s days as well.
It was a lot better than having to read another word about the Hougang by-election or look at another photo of a MP, that’s for sure. Of course in Singapore, this was shortlived as the police stepped and announced that they had arrested the graffiti artist, Samantha Lo. If convicted of vandalism, she might be fine up to S$2,000, or jail up to three years and caning.
I wonder if some vigilante citizen devoid of a sense of humour filed a complaint (from his complaint template) or the police decided to investigate by themselves. Whatever the reason, I couldn’t help but feel a little sad at the situation, and somewhat baffled.
People blame Singaporeans for being uncreative, well, now we know why. Cos the creative ones are all being locked up. The society that we breed is one devoid of creativity, afraid to speak up and completely submissive. Is that how we want our children to be like?
Another interesting point is: how did the police manage to track the artist down? It shows that we are all carefully monitored in good old Singapore, and nothing can escape the attention of the law. Everytime you pick your nose in public, remember you are being watched because unfortunately, the roads are not your ‘grandfather road’ (sic).
I am starting to feel a trifle uncomfortable at the way things are going in this state. Our every action being watched, every word being censured, how can anyone blame me when I say it is starting to feel a touch claustrophobic.
But some good that has come out of it is this: I am beginning to empathise with the people who has the guts to be different in our country, the odds must have been stacked against them since day one. Yet there are some who will stand up and speak their minds, do their own thing because they believe in the freedom of expression.