Saturday, April 11, 2009

A*Star scholar challenges indecency laws!

A*STAR scholar, Swede charged with appearing nude in public

By Zul Othman, TODAY Posted: 10 April 2009 0630 hrs [Link]

SINGAPORE: She is a PhD scholar with A*STAR, the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, who is studying at the Karolinksa Institute in Sweden, and he, a Swedish student on an exchange programme. The young couple who caused a stir when they walked down Holland Village in the buff on January 24, were charged in court on Thursday with appearing nude in public. Jan Philip, a 21-year-old Swede, and 24-year-old Eng Kai Er, a Singaporean, remained silent when they appeared before District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan. It is not known why it took so long before the duo was hauled before the judge. However, their long-awaited court date went by quickly after their lawyer, Mr William Chan, asked for an adjournment to write in to the Attorney-General's Chambers......

I have to applaud A*Star for selecting people who will challenge the status quo....but I think this A*Star scholar has chosen the wrong law to challenge. She is too far ahead of her time ...but it shows that sending scholars to Sweden really has a big cultural impact on them and this case is sufficiently spectacular to remove all doubts of the usefulness of sending scholars overseas to assimilate foreign culture. In Sweden nudity in public is a lot more acceptable.

The law she should have challenged is the one that disallows people walking around naked in their own house in Singapore[Link]. She would have received plenty of sympathy if she had broken that law instead and was hauled to court.

Do I think she should be jail? Hell no. Jail in Singapore is for people who speak in public without a permit[Link] but if you walk around naked in public without a permit, you should be okay.

32 comments:

DanielXX said...

I will be dropping by A-Star more often from now on. You never know what you could see.

Anonymous said...

These high IQ people really can take challenges! I mean who dare to do this type of thing? I would have been embarrassed to death, even before I am charged!

If only these people are also many and brave enough to contest all the seats in the next election!

LuckySingaporean said...

Hey DanielXX,

I thought you will be dropping by the stock brokerages more often these days....your fav stocks are flying off...naked or clothed?

redbean said...

it may be a way to get out of a bond without having to serve the full term.

i am quite amused when they tried to hide their faces after they have been having walking around nude.

thought it would be a great opportunity to let the press should it to the world, which was their intent.

DanielXX said...

Yo LuckySinker,
Fully clothed man. Can't afford to be naked when my body is not A-star material.

Anonymous said...

Of course, she should be okay. She is from ASTAR and graduate from Cambridge University, the same university the senile old man with his nonsense graduate from.

Oldman should be proud of her instead.

Both are really ahead of their time though, like it takes 30 years to recoup investment, or it takes five years for opposition party to destroy Singapore where it just take only 2 years for PAP to reduce Singapore reserves by half.

Credit to the PAP for such long foresight and vision.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, another creative way to break the bond and send the message to the government that something is wrong with scholarship bond.

DanielXX said...

For most such bonds they will stipulate that if the bondee does something wrong the organisation have the right to claim the entire bond value back before discharging the bondee. So I don't think this works. What a stupid thing to do. She should have distinguished herself by creating some new biochemical product, and not through such exploits which anybody including my neighbourhood dimwit is capable of.

Anonymous said...

Methink they have a message. Throw out all the crap, the burden of work, the stress, be released for a while, do not care what the world think.

But man, they did'nt have to do that and get into trouble. They got a will and if they are so stressed up despite being esteemed highly by PAP as A*STAR, they should also know they can mentally jettison their stressful energies.

You mean scholars are not taught this simple technique which come naturally to kids. Don't blame them; everyone who has any level of education and thinking tend to hold on to their energies; Singaporeans are known to be uptight lot of people after all.

Hey you go to cinema and if the show is lousy you here monkeys laughing away for nothing. No wonder IMH is such a big place.

Anonymous said...

The venue she chose to convey her "message" is alstelling. Holland Village, the expat enclave. So it is a message more for the foreigners than locals, local laws should not apply there. ;p

Anonymous said...

This clearly proves that PAP is right,A*Star is well ahead of its time in Singapore,and that is the good thing.

The only thing that I feel strongly is that PAP wants to be ahead in almost every thing,culture,science,technology,education,you name it,it is there.

Except one,POLITICAL CONTROL and I haven't seen any scholars worth their salts fr establishment mount a challenge!

Personally I do not have much respect for these scholars who dare to be different.

Anonymous said...

Interesting thread! Especially since i am a Swedish scientist considering to move to Singapore (although not for the same reasons as the couple discussed in this post ;) )


Although laws regulating behaviour, especially around sexuality are much more relaxed than I understand they are in Singapore, the difference probably isnt as big as you think.

It can actually be illegal walking around naked in Sweden as well. On your own property however, you may do more or less what you want.

What really makes the difference here (i think) is the policy of the police. To get the police to arrest you for something like this, you probably need to provoke them. What I mean is there is law, but its mostly not enforced. This is the case with many laws around here (for example its not allowed to drink in most public places, but ill promise you that during our few months with sun our public parks are filled with picnicing, beerdrinking people).

Anonymous said...

Swedish scientist,
worry not... our government love AngMoh especially rich and talent Angmoh like you. Rest assure if you walk around Singapore totally naked, the gahmen will just fine you few thousands dollar only. Yes, only for AngMoh and elite, and the rest of singaporean can count the stars in Changi 24 hours protection Resort, aka Changi Prison.

Oh, not forgetting that our females will admire your large cute dicky.

Anonymous said...

HAVE you been to a bar? A red- light district?” — these are some of the questions that top civil servant Philip Yeo once posed to an officer from the Public Service Commission at an interview.

http://young-pap.blogspot.com/2009/04/astar-nss-scholar-walks-naked-in.html

aiyah said...

i read with much amusement at tt piece of news. and even much more amusement when you highlighted tt we're not supposed to walk around our house naked. can we walk naked from the bedroom to the bathroom? maybe this is why the birthrate is so low. go figure!
what abt prostitutes? can they walk around naked in their "offices"? well, i suppose tt will be an "office" instead of a house.

Anonymous said...

If a person wants to study PhD, then compete at the international level to get into a US school. What for take up some cannot-make-it Astar "scholarship"? Study PhD with bonds?
What I heard from insiders at Astar is that those people who finished their overseas undergrad and are spending their one year attachment at a local Astar institute are finding ways to wriggle out of the Astar scholarship. A major number of foreigners, especially those from China, took up this scholarship because they cannot enter US grad school on chinese passport. They come back to Singapore bearing grudge against Astar for not letting them be a professor at NUS or NTU. This is what Astar "scholarship" or in general any Singapore scholarship begets.

Anonymous said...

Im sorry if my post upset someone, my intention was not to provoke, rather to comment from a Swedish perspective. This event actually got a fair amount of media coverage here in Sweden as well.

There is really no point being rude to me so spare me your racist, derogatory sexist comments.

Anonymous said...

Mr Swede

He was not being critical to you per se, rather our government, elites and SPGs.

Alan Wong said...

What is exactly wrong with a naked body ?

At least she has the guts to show to the public whatever assets that she has ?

Isn't that what our PAP govt whats us Singaporeans to do, that is to be proud of our own assets !

Can Singapore ever grow up ?

Anonymous said...

Then Im sorry if I took it personal. Im new to the political debate arena in Singapore, and perhaps should have been more careful when posting comments here.
Nevertheless, especially since I am considering moving there, im trying to learn more (apart from the guidbook propaganda) whats really going on.

By the way; a link to a swedish newspaper about the nude walk ...
http://www.aftonbladet.se/nyheter/article4355751.ab
its in swedish, use translator

have a nice weekend.
Swede

Anonymous said...

Hi swede

Why consider, sg govt love to have you, There are two sets of laws one for ang mohs and one for locals and the law for ang mohs are very lax, it is practically like sweden.

Just to update you, there was a case of an english woman who killed a family of Koreans when they were crossing the road with a car and she was acquitted.

Another case of an ang moh killing a pedestrian he was only fined.

Why consider when you can have your cherry and eat it here.

BTW your pay will be humongous when you work for some govt depart.

Anonymous said...

11.27 AM ;

I understand that that will anger the other citizens. In fact, it probably angers 99% of the "ang moh´s aswell, and it certainly angers me.(I read up on the expression ang moh, its use etc. and realized that its not racist by necessity so sorry if I got a bit carried away in the earlier post).

My reasons for coming to Sg (if I do) is not take part in an apartheid-like life. I have no interest in neo-colonialism. I just personally love SE asia in general, and as a scientist its about the only place where i can find work in the region.

What you tell me sounds counterproductive, it sounds like there is an incitement for "bad" western people to move there (I mean the creepy, non humanitarian ones). I cant see that benefiting Sg in the long run.

Is your view that people like me supports the government in its oppression? I.e. would you suggest me to not move there if i really cared?

Its a sincere question, because its not easy to know which way to deal with these things.
What I mean is that isolationism its not always the most effective way to force a change.

The idea of having special treatment for "foreign specialist" is widely used here in Europe as well. But the benefits usually stops at a significantly lower income tax. There is NO special treatment before the legal system as you describe for Sg.
Even that is enough to anger alot of people over here, especially now in times of economic crisis.

Swede

Anonymous said...

hi there, our swede friend.

i tried accessing the article ("gick naken i singapore") via google search, but it seems that they are unable to translate it.

do you mind translating it on our behalf? if the latter is too time-consuming, could you provide us a sense of what was written in the report? thank you.

i would say this to you (that is, if you bothered at all): you are welcome to singapore. here's an interesting read that i came across:
http://joeinsingapore.blogspot.com/

cheers

chinchong said...

That is the problem with singaporeans...lack of national identity...go to the states for a couple of weeks and one get back home and start speaking in american twang...
go to sweden to study and straight away thinks she is swedish and the whole island of singapore a sauna parlour.

Vez said...

Hi Swede,

Firstly, I'll like to apologize for the xenophobic rantings in some of the earlier posts. Pls don't take it personally as they're from highly insecure, racists Singaporeans who have forgotten that Singapore IS a country of immigrants. It's truly embarrassing to show the global internet community the smallness of some Singaporeans' minds... Some of us forget that small country need not mean small minds.

Not that my opinion matters to you (or anyone in fact) but you are welcome to Singapore (should you not be put off and decide to work here). I'll hate to deter someone who could contribute to Singapore's growth, however Singaporeans are not known for their graciousness so be forewarned. Maybe compare notes with other Swedes or make a long trip to Singapore. Not all SEA countries have the same level of graciousness.

And to keep this relevant to the topic at hand, I don't condemn, yet don't quite agree or find what they did amusing. I'm sure there were some who felt uncomfortable viewing them. I also feel sorry for her family members who must be really embarrassed and wondering what they did wrong while raising her. I wonder whether she considered the impact of her actions on her parents (we are a small conservative country after all) or was she just selfishly thinking about proving a point/making a statement?!?

Sam said...

I think we should get rid of both of them. As for the local girl, this has little to do with challenging the system, she probably just wants to get it off with the Ang Moh if she is not already. Why can't she and the swede just walk around naked at home ? Not acceptable there ? if this is not acceptable why do it in public.
I like this law here, it keeps me from having to put up with idiots like the two of them who want to expose themselves in public.
A star does not need idiots like these two

Elite said...

"Of course, she should be okay. She is from ASTAR and graduate from Cambridge University, the same university the senile old man with his nonsense graduate from.

Oldman should be proud of her instead.

Both are really ahead of their time though, like it takes 30 years to recoup investment, or it takes five years for opposition party to destroy Singapore where it just take only 2 years for PAP to reduce Singapore reserves by half.

Credit to the PAP for such long foresight and vision."

Dumb stupid farmer, you won't even get into the SHIT that Cambridge passes out of its anus.

Another thing? Why would you care about the reserves? It's not yours you fucker and you won't get a single cent of it and why don't you just FUCK off to another country?

Elite said...

Another thing you dumb ass local uni farmer.

China and UAE and ALL countries with reserves did not NOT lose a cent from this crisis. Even top universities lost money from investing their endowment. So why don't you SHUT your fucking smelly farmer trap and go FUCK OFF to Malaysia or wherever else that isn't MY COUNTRY and get the FUCK out of my elite uncaring face, you dumb stupid ugly farmer

... said...

Dear Elite, I agree with you. Posts like those are a tad too many and most of the time they don't even know what they are talking about.

And finally, a voice of reason by Vez. I second what she said.

All those stupid posts making extended conclusions on scholars, overseas educations and westerners just from this single event must be written by narrow-minded local uni farmers suffering from severe sour grape syndrome.

... said...

"If a person wants to study PhD, then compete at the international level to get into a US school. What for take up some cannot-make-it Astar "scholarship"? Study PhD with bonds? What I heard from insiders at Astar is that those people who finished their overseas undergrad and are spending their one year attachment at a local Astar institute are finding ways to wriggle out of the Astar scholarship. A major number of foreigners, especially those from China, took up this scholarship because they cannot enter US grad school on chinese passport. They come back to Singapore bearing grudge against Astar for not letting them be a professor at NUS or NTU. This is what Astar "scholarship" or in general any Singapore scholarship begets."

You are not even making sense here, you stupid fuck. Enough said.

... said...

Dear Sam,

Why don't you get rid of yourself for being stupid and talking nonsense? At least she can contribute to the sciences with her intelligence but what can you do?

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