Sunday, June 06, 2010

Wrong country for graffiti....?

More than a decade ago, while travelling across Europe, I was struck by the amount of graffiti that covered the walls of building, walls and, yes, trains. This form of "vandalism-art" has swept across many countries and was a form of youth rebellion against authorities. When I heard about the MRT train getting spray painted with graffiti, I first thoughts were ...'finally this got to Singapore'. I saw it as a sign that there was one or two young Singaporeans brave enough, frustrated enough, idle enough and crazy enough to do this. For me, graffiti art represented a whole mix of good, bad and ugly things about society and youth. First, you don't get graffiti in a police state, say N. Korea, where they catch, jail and shoot people for it....so the existence of graffiti can represent a freer looser society - nobody dares to paint graffiti where there is fear of the authorities .... Graffiti also represents frustration among youths especially so in countries where unemployment is high and young people have nothing to do so they vandalise buildings for kicks. Graffiti is sometimes prevalent in parts of cities where crime rate is high and the police is caught up with other activities and has no time to catch people for the petty crime of painting buildings and trains.

When I heard the graffiti on MRT trains, I thought it was a little odd because we are not a country with characteristics that will produce graffiti artists motivated enough to breaking into the SMRT premises to practise his art form.



It turned out the artists were 2 foreign men - a British tourist who has gone home and a Swiss business consultant working here:

"Oliver Fricker, 32, was accused of committing trespass and vandalism in mid-May, and a district judge who described him as a flight risk set bail at $100,000. His passport was also impounded. A worried-looking Fricker told the judge he needed a lawyer and asked that bail be lowered to US$40,000. But the judge cut him short and rejected the bail request, stressing the seriousness of the offence. " - AsiaOne News[Link]

Unfortunately, for the young Swiss, this is a "serious offence" in Singapore. He has violated security, committed an act of trespass and vandalism. Breaking the law is always very serious in Singapore. Yes, he could have planted a b..mb or sarbotaged the train. See this is Singapore, this Swiss feller has to be made an example so that everyone understands the "seriouness" of the offence. The more he is punished the more people will understand the severity of the crime he has committed and it will be deeply etched in the minds of Singaporeans and all those who come here that what has been done to our MRT train is heinous crime that deserves heavy punishment. But what really has this young Swiss done???....

"The break-in, believed to have taken place before dawn on May 17, was not immediately detected and the train plied its route in full view of commuters, one of whom filmed it and posted a clip on video-sharing site Youtube. " - AsiaOne Report.

He exposed the security flaws in our MRT depots. All they needed to get in was to cut a hole in the fence to get in. Yes, it was too dark to see that "Protected Area" shoot on sight sign that would have struck fear and deterred any good Singaporean. He had about 20-30 minutes to paint undetected because nobody patrols the area or the area is not patrolled frequent enough - they were counting on that big red "Protected Area" sign for security that is a lot cheaper than putting human beings and monitoring systems in place.

There are many ways to look at this painting act. It can be seen as simply youthful mischief. The SMRT can take some free lessons learnt about its security 9r lack of security without paying security consultants millions and thank this Mr. Oliver Fricker. Some may view his art as something colorful and refreshing on our dodgy overcrowded trains.....how we view this act will say a lot about our society.

But let me ask you why do you think Oliver Fricker did it? ...Really why?... He is a business counsultant with a cushy job and one day he woke up and decided to commit a 'serious crime' against Singapore? I think it is more something like this. Oliver Fricker (perhaps aka FrikArtist in the Swiss graffiti circles) wakes up everyday to the MRT to work. The trains are packed like cattle and he like many Singaporeans was started to feel like cattle herded to work everyday. Sometimes the MRT train works more like a microwave when the aircon is turned down. When he goes to the train station everyday he is greeted by signs, "Don't Step over the Yellow Line", "Life is Precious", "Jumping onto the tracks is an Offence", "No Eating or Drinking"...and so on. Fricker feels like cattle - contrained by rules and yellow lines. Frustrated, tired and missing his "Swiss standard" of living, Mr. Fricker woke up one day and hatched what he thought would be a nice refreshing prank to color the train he takes to work and perhaps put a smile or two on the faces of his fellow cattle as they enter the train to be microwaved for the next half or one hour.

I really don't know what was on Fricker's mind when he committed his act. The story above is just one version. But there are many ways to interpret what he has done. Unfortunately Fricker was in Singapore when he committed his act and it will be seen through the eyes of Singapore authorities. He will be seen as a serious criminal committing a serious crime of vandalism and threspass deserving of serious punishment. He will be punished in a way that will instil fear in all those who think of committing the same act. Breaking rules in Singapore is always serious ...regardless of his intent. It is unlikely that Mr. Fricker perhaps woke up one day wanting to commit a serious crime, violate security and endanger Singapore....he most probably woke up one day to break the monotony of his life in Singapore by doing what he probably did many times back home in Switzerland as a teenager (from his art work, you can tell he is no first timer). His biggest mistake is to forget that Singapore is not Switzerland.....



86 comments:

Remo said...

HI there..

As a Swiss who has lived in Singapore a while I am very proud of you being able to understand your own situation. Singapore is beautiful but to a certain extend artifical.. That is a pitty for that place..

Cheers
Remo

Anonymous said...

Actually why would he took the trouble (maybe just a little) to break into a protected area to do his art?

He could have done it at more convenient places and the penalty, if caught, might even be lesser.

Anyway this really exposes the fallacy about Singapore security being watertight.

And by the way, how often do you see police patrols on the street? When I was in Hong Kong just for a few days, I saw police patrols on the streets and near MRT.

Those who really dare may succeed, including planting bombs in MRT.

We should count ourselves lucky that nobody dare, or is it they thought not worth wasting the bomb? Maybe bomb bigger countries will have better effect?

DanielXX said...

10 years ago a young US punk named Michael Fay was flayed for vandalising several cars in Singapore, despite pleas by President Bill Clinton himself. I'm surprised this guy is not getting a caning himself. Seems like angmoh becumming more and more tuakee here.

Pathetic! I would like to call for a caning! What is this but vandalism?? Sorry but I'm a being conservative here, but I think it's justified. No foreigner can come here and try to impose their values and practices on us. I'm surprised, Lucky, that you're interpreting it this way. The newspapers have been framing the entire reporting in such a way as to avoid causing too much public anger against the angmoh. Instead they direct sentiment against the laxity of MRT authorities. Ridiculous!

Lucky Tan said...

DanielXX,

Didn't I say Mr. Ficker's biggest mistake is he forgot he is in Singapore where our rules are far stricter than in Switzerland where he comes from. By the law, we should cane and jail him....and we can show the whole world we mean business and what Singapore is about.

But really, one of the reasons Mr. Ficker did it is he probably didn't understand the big trouble is in once he got caught....

Anonymous said...

I find his graffiti rather refreshing and creative. Actually why should we stump such creativity? It may be at a wrong place, wrong time, but it is still a very beautiful piece of art.

Xtrocious said...

I agree - his artwork was a breath of fresh air (those who regularly take the trains will know what I mean - literally) that we desperately need in sterile Singapore...

While his intention was questionable, the reaction is even more so...sigh

Ex-singaporean said...

Lighten up!

Since he is a Swiss, he should be punished according to Swiss law, which probably means probation, fines & restitution. He meant no harm! Otherwise, it simply shows how pathetic this place is.

By the way, where I live, public buses are painted just like that. No kidding!

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

If Oliver Fricker has committed an offence in Singapore, he should be punished in accordance with the laws of Singapore. Unless he happens to have 'Diplomatic Immunity' (which he does not), I do not see why he should (if found guilty) be allowed to get away with the legally mandated punishmnent which includes Caning as a mandatory punishment. Try drinking alcohol, stealing or committing other crimes in Saudi Arabia, then plead that you are a foreigner and for that reason, should not face the consequences under the laws of that country.

Singapore has long adopted as public policy a stance of zero tolerance against vandalism, and has consistently enforced this policy through its laws which includes a mandatory non-discretionary punishment of caning - this consistency of enforcement is seen also in its enforcement of its zero-tolerance policies against drug trafficking which carries a mandatory capital punishment in certain circumstnaces and other criminal offences. It is therefore in accordance with its duty to its own people who have supported and continue to support this policy (and who are themselves subjected it), that the Government continue to enforce this policy of non-tolerance (for so long as it exists and has not been revised by Parliament) consistently and equitably against all those who are subject to its laws, be it, local or foreigner alike.

If you can't do the Time, don't do the CRIME!

Anonymous said...

look at it this way. he should sign on as commando! our commando were owned by farmer in thailand.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Lucky, you are siding with Mr. Fricker?

Ex-singaporean said...

Rebecca,

You are assuming that all foreigners are aware of Singapore laws!

Further if the law is unjust, and I consider canning barbaric, it should be repealed! I can list many such barbaric "laws" in the past and present, and you would probably agree with me that some of them have no place in civilized society. In Singapore, the government has been very effective in using fear to mold public behaviors. As a result, many punishments do not match their crimes. And this is one of them.

The world is not as black and white as you and other many Singaporeans see. As an ex-Singaporean, I am shocked at some of the comments here and elsewhere. You live in a very small world indeed.

DanielXX said...

since caning is considered barbaric by ex-singaporeans, you are free to depart for other countries which are less barbaric but where all the natives will sneer at you as 2nd-class citizens. i'm not sure if that is barbaric as well but feel free to think you're one class above. as far as i'm concerned, as long as one is in a guest country, he should live according to its laws, and ignorance cannot stand in plea bargaining. mr fricker will be punished according to the law. whether his art is creative or not is besides the point. he trespassed, he defaced public ppty, his panties should be pulled down and whipped just like any other offender. i'm just sorry he's not romanian.

Hun Boon said...

One can't use ignorance of the law as an excuse.

Fricker's crime is much more serious than Michael Fay's, who received:

Four months in jail
S$3,500
Four strokes of the cane

The punishment should match the crime. Fricker should expect at least the above.

Rebecca said...

@Ex-Singaporean - it is a basic legal tenet in every country in the common law world, that Ignorance of the Law is NO EXCUSE.

Whether caning is a barbaric institution or not is for the country enforcing same to decide for itself. I agree however, that Repeal is within the powers of the parliamentary processes and can be exercised if deemed fit. There are however, many reasons why Singapore continues to find caning an effective deterrant to certain crimes, and until Parliament is convinced of the inefficacy or inhumanity of such punishment, and that the inhumanity of such punishment justifies and outweighs the deterrent efficacy of same, Singapore will be within its rights to continue to apply such punishment, as it does with the death penalty.

I think what you are trying to get at is whether "caning" as a mandatory punishment for a crime such as vandalism (which is not seen generally as a crime on the same level of seriousness as armed robbery or drug trafficking) is appropriate and is proportional to the seriousness of the offence.

In my view, I would agree that the "mandatory" nature of the punishment of caning could be safely repealed and left to the discretion of the Judiciary in Singapore, to be decided in accordance with prevalent sentencing principles, taking into account all mitigating factors in each case.

Lim Leng Hiong said...

"I think it is more something like this. Oliver Fricker (perhaps aka FrikArtist in the Swiss graffiti circles) wakes up everyday to the MRT to work... I really don't know what was on Fricker's mind when he committed his act. The story above is just one version."

That's an interesting story Lucky, but Mr. Fricker is a senior consultant with a Zurich-based IT firm specialising in the financial sector.

Why would you automatically assume that he needs to take the MRT to work everyday?

Anonymous said...

There should not be any double standards in punishing that foreigner. How one interprets the graffiti/art whatsoever, it is against the law. To me it is a security concern which SMRT has lots (delay in police report) to answer. I, for one definitely do not want public property to be vandalised or defaced. All eyes on will be one judge, full justice shd be meted out. At the same time, I would like to know the number of crimes committed by foreigners, is it on the rise?

cat said...

I have seen graffiti in various places in Europe, and I think they all look the same. Very ugly.

Here is what I think.

1. The graffiti should not have been done.

2. SMRT should have increased security at its depot.

Ex-singaporean said...

By the way, my view is not even liberal by western standards. It just shows you how extreme your views are by international standards. (This comment is not directed at any specific person here!)

I am sure many of you are super strict with your children. If your child happens to use drugs, he/she deserves to die. If your child is homosexual, he/she should be canned. If your child is caught vandalizing public toilets, he/she should be canned. Enough said!

DanielXX said...

if you still don't understand, let me make it clear: fark the West. Rules are rules until they're changed. I have no opinion on whether a law is too severe or not but as long as it is the law, people domiciled in the guest country will be subject to the full extent of it.

supposing you're in the US and one day when you face the barrel of a gun (legal) you will appreciate some of the common sense of using deterrence as a strong weapon in prioritising prevention rather than cure.

Irishman said...

as an ang moh, I have to say Fricker deserves whatever punishment he gets.

the graffiti is ugly and angry, and shows no respect for other people's sensibilities. If he were a real artist he'd come up with something original

I have always been agog at the respect given to graffiti "artists" that paint boring tags in stylised text on walls, it's the same everywhere, and it's really unattractive.

if fricker painted the side of my house I'd be angry, and who would tell me to lighten up?

the trains in singapore are FAN-TASTIC, and a credit to the nation. Why should this jerk deface them and feel important about it?

If he had any talent, he'd have drawn something worth looking at. If he had good intentions, he'd go out and help kids to paint instead of being angry and lashing out at poverty.

But no, he conspires with some other muppet who leaves the country to spray boring bog-standard unattractive grafitti that someone has to clean up.

if you think graffitti is "self expression" then visit france or the UK where every train is covered in this garbage, most of it simple tagging. literally smearing the train with a signature compulsively.

what he did has no artistic merit and he needs a caning and to pay the costs of cleaning the train.

As if he'd be a hero in Switzerland... hes a punk no matter where he goes. And a coward to boot.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A2XPiqhN_Ns&feature=related

Anonymous said...

We in SIN wanted to have Swiss Standard of Livings.

And when a Swiss National brought his Swiss Standard to us, he has to be punished for giving us the Standard.

Lol.............

Lim Leng Hiong said...

Although the graffiti is the most visible part, it is not the key aspect of the incident.

The key aspect was when Mr. Fricker and Mr. Alexander saw the signs indicating "PROTECTED AREA - NO ADMITTANCE TO UNAUTHORISED PERSONS" in four official languages, but they still decided to cut through the fence and enter the depot in the pre-dawn hours on 17th May with cans of spray paint.

Mr. Fricker is not a poor, unemployed and illiterate teenager from an inner city slum.

He is an expatriate senior consultant of an IT firm specialising in the financial sector.

Also, "McKoy Banos" doesn't look like a message of frustation and protest against overcrowded public transportation or stifling laws.

It is a signature.

Anonymous said...

So long as the Punishments are in force, IT MUST BE CARRIED OUT AND BE WITNESSED TO HAVE BEEN EXERCISED, otherwise it will make a MOCKERY OF OUR LAWS.

patriot

Anonymous said...

The authorities have been deaf to feedback. If public says that security is lax, they will reply that they are invincible and the public should have nothing to worry about. Even after Mas Selamat case, they have not changed. It takes a Swiss to expose their vunerability and lies.

Anonymous said...

Hi,
As someone who had lived in Singapore for over 9 years before moving to Australia, I must say that I really appreciate the safety and the orderliness in Singapore. I believe Singapore law system works well to protect the country. As much as i think Oliver Fricker might be creative, he deserves to be punished for what he has done. If he is really talented, maybe he can consider doing graffiti on the Berlin wall.

Anonymous said...

What better way to cow the populace into submission?

If you do not toe the line, the line toes you.

Anonymous said...

33 year old business "consultant" is youthful mischief? Obviously we are getting the wrong kind of foreign talent. He should be jailed and taste a few strokes of the rotan.

Anonymous said...

What a strange country.
In our lovely country in Germany, we never punish someone for doing such graffiti.
It is a whole responsibility of SMRT to protect their trains and make sure their trains cannot be accessed so easily. The blame should be put on SMRT. This is pure business decision. No government intervention please.

Anonymous said...

Agree with Anonymous 6/6/10 14:04.
It is time for Singaporean to be more rational in thinking. But sometimes it is also logical that Singaporean cannot think rationally as they have been brainwashed for years.

Anonymous said...

"What a strange country.
In our lovely country in Germany, we never punish someone for doing such graffiti.
It is a whole responsibility of SMRT to protect their trains and make sure their trains cannot be accessed so easily. The blame should be put on SMRT. This is pure business decision. No government intervention please."



So i suppose if I vandalise your property I should not be punished since it is you who did not properly protect your property from vandals? Hahaha!

rotan seller said...

the graffiti was the signature of two FTs who by now realise in turn they deserve a permanent form of graffiti on their behinds...

'tattoo with a rotan'

Swiss said...

Hey Guys

As a Swiss living in Singapore for a few years i find this story rather refreshing...

If i look at the facts, I suspect a rather simple motivation behind this: Oliver will be leaving Singapore shortly and wants to be kind of a Hero to his friends (which he certainly will be if he escapes without getting caught). He may have forgotten that MOM since recently collects fingerprints of EP Holders. So he gets caught and will now face his penalty (which is indeed much more severe than in Switzerland).

If you put your hand in the lions cage you may get bitten. That is what happened to Oliver. Though luck for him but that is the risk he was talking. So i wont feel a little bit sorry for my fellow countryman.

One more thing: He is a Senior consultant and can not pay the bail? And his company is not going to post it for him? Must be guilty then....

Anonymous said...

Graffiti may be refreshing, creative, natural to some but for me, it's trashy art that spoils the beauty of its surroundings. Since 'art' is subjective, not everyone will appreciate something this personal imposed on their senses in public. Seeing graffiti reminds me of the slumps. Thanks but no thanks.

An environment without graffiti is artificial? I say it's neutral space where everyone can feel his own NATURAL individuality without the jarring intrusiveness of graffiti.

Freaker, I mean Fricker, You don't like it here, you can always go back to your graffiti stamped country. We do not need you to do us any favor. Disrespecting the social order in a foreign land with your presumptuousness is simply uncouth.

Anonymous said...

So, to respond to mr DanielXX who is intent of whipping the guy because he defaced public property, should we then haul up the CEO of SingPost and all his staff to be caned too because they did vandalise post boxes around our sunny little island.

Last I heard, they got a warning and nothing else. So, naturally i know that they vandalised their own property and did not trespass, but i'm pretty sure lying to the police is as great a crime. Please share your insight with us ignorant fools thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

@ the "Swiss" living in Singapore:

The aspiration of our esteemed leaders (the world most highly paid) is to having Swiss standard of living here; how dare you calling our country "the lions cage" with lions that would bite your hands off even when you meant no harm to them. You are not saying that our leaders are just a bunch of senseless animals, are you?

Anonymous said...

@ the "Swiss" living in Singapore:

The aspiration of our esteemed leaders (the world most highly paid) is to having Swiss standard of living here; how dare you calling our country "the lions cage" with lions that would bite your hands off even when you meant no harm to them. You are not saying that our leaders are just a bunch of senseless animals, are you?

Anonymous said...

the only reason why the police are taking such a tough stance isbecause our own security is grossly put in question. it is ridiculous to ask ns men to patrol mrt stations when bmobs can be placed by an easier way.

so there, it's pap against ang moh power. we peasants can just watch and jeer.

Swiss said...

@ Anonymous:

You misunderstood the meaning: The lions cage does not refer to Singapore but to the fact that Oliver did something he know the consequences (You would know the consequences when you literally go to the zoo and put your hand in the lions cage). And someone who takes the risk will need to bear the consequences.

Besides I like the idea of having the leaders being paid very well (like here in Singapore). I think it is one way to manage NOT to have senseless a animals as leader

Anonymous said...

How does one vandalize his own property?

The enlightened intellectuals must explain this mystery in simple terms to the supposed brainwashed sheep.

Anonymous said...

Hey Mr Swiss, maybe the misunderstanding has got something to do with the lion being Singapore's national symbol.

Swiss said...

@ Anonymous:

Apologies, replace it with bear (though I don't want to attack the russians) ;-)

Anonymous said...

must be the humidity here that cause his brain to suffer a moment of "insanity".

maybe too squeaky clean here he needs to leave his imprint for his fellowmen to cheer over a few beers for years to come.

could be making a political statement too.

who knows, he could be "funded" for the expenses incurred.

after all, he is not really that...stupid right?

Anonymous said...

This angmo has really gone over the top. The fact that he had broken into a security area is more serious than the fact tha he had painted graffiti onto the outer wall of an MRT train. Yes, he should be punished and made an example of. I hope the gahment don't cave in to foreign pressure this time!

Anonymous said...

with all those videos constantly broadcast to educate us how to look out for terrorist, what happen at the depot shows how stupid it is when anyone can cut the fence and do anything inside the depot for 4 hours! our beloved gahmen looks like ostrich burying their head in sand for too long!

Anonymous said...

Lucky,

some of these graffiti artistes are member of groups that enjoy leaving their mark, either by means of a simple signature with nobody will notice... or a mega graffiti... and spraying one on a big, restricted target like a Singapore MRT train is all the more glorious.

Mr Fricker's artwork is, honestly, rather nice :) and refreshing. Perhaps as punishment he should be made to spray ALL the MRT trains.

Anonymous said...

Watertight security?...i'm sure Mas Selamat is having a laugh over the causeway

and...as usual NOBODY will be accounted for the "lapse"...let's close rank and MOVE ON

Anonymous said...

Security? What security? Reminds me of Mas Selamat and the hullaballoo because the authorities were caught with their pants down. I think we should look askance at our home defence and thank Mr. Fricker for showing how easy anyone can penetrate a supposedly secure area. Our Home Ministry has been lax to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Actually SMRT was seen employing very senior uncles and aunties acting as security guards searching the bags of commuters at random before they were allowed to enter the MRT stations. Mostly Malay and dark complexion commuters were targetted with even those who were smartly dressed.

Then we have the trespassing gone undetected for days at the MRT depot. What a joke !

Looks like SMRT really need to review their security procedures :

Security checks taken at RANDOM can NEVER provide the utmost security. At best, it can only provide some comfort that SMRT is concerned about security, period.

Anonymous said...

Aren't you guys tired of being a oh-so-prime-and-proper-good-old singaporean? Graffiti is illegal, protests without permits are illegal, positive/negative critics on elite minister is illegal, media depicting lxx in a truthful yet negative light is illegal. So much for democracy and justice without true freedom of speech. I'm glad Mr Swiss guy did it for us. Shout out loud to the world that smrt screwed up big time. Show us all that the security checkpoints at the stations and the video blast of commuters' civic responsibility to stay vigilant is nothing but plain wayang! Thanks Mr Swiss!

Anonymous said...

Of course our security is watertight. Only thing is, it's not 24/7.

Anonymous said...

Graffiti is graffiti, and it is unsightly, period. I do not like my public transport to look like some slum ghetto, and calling it art is really a stretch. If you like graffiti no one is stopping you from doing up your own home, front door, and car all you like. We'll see who is prim and proper then.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and aren't some of you guys tired of rebelling for the sake of it? You want color? Graffiti your own house, then you can enjoy it 24/7.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon, 6/6/10 23:27

Great minds think alike. Lol!

pro yellow ribbon said...

The fairest punishment is to make the Swiss bloke display his gaffiti talent on all the walls inside Spore's famous Changi Condo.

It will brighten things up for the residents inside.

Anonymous said...

Question is, who in Changi prison are you trying to punish?

Anonymous said...

Rebelling for the sake of it? Gosh, our lives are endangered by exposing trains as easy bomb threats due to security negligence... Not worth rebelling?

Anonymous said...

Awww, come on. Are you sure you are rebelling for the sake of our security rather than for the thrill of damaging public property with graffiti to make a statement against the establishment?

Anonymous said...

We are peaceful pple who dislike any kind of graffiti, esp on our own homes and cars, and thinks graffiti is a bigger crime than security neglect.

The train was deployed without authorized personnel realizing that big piece of paint exist. I'm for rebelling against this negligent establishment.

Anonymous said...

One hears repeatedly this announcement "If you see any suspicious-looking person, please etc, etc.," and for the life of me, I cannot tell what is a suspicious-looking person. Obviously, if anyone wants to create chaos, the person most likely to do it will be innocuous looking and behave normally. Perhaps the authorities should enlightened us, graphically, what is considered a suspicious-looking person. With so many FT's travelling in the same train, to a Singaporean they all appear suspicious-looking.

Anonymous said...

replace security with older cheaper guard. replace. replace older cheaper guard with deterring signage. cost effective. this is call productivity.

Anonymous said...

Screwlity guard vocation are merely to create some jobs for the poorly educated and physically weak older folks.

Look at them suffering under the inclement elements and their long working hours mostly on their feet.

Can we consciencely expect them to deal with criminals?????

Screwlity guards are less effective than scarecrows.

Anonymous said...

Some call it art, while others label it as rubbish. I am not gonna take sides as both parties are not 100% wrong. However, in Singapore, vadalism is punishable by jail & caning, so if you commit that here, be prepare to have your butt sliced up. No two ways about it & pls dont cite how Germany or Switzerland would settle this problem, these two countries are miles away from here!!

Well, I think the main problem with this incident is that it exposed how lax SMRT can be. Yes, Ficker only painted some trains, so what's the big deal? The very big deal is what if it's not just spray paint cans he brought in? What will happen to us if he decided to plant some explosive or sabatage the train? I think SMRT has to shoulder some blame & step up on their security. It just took 2 Average Joes to break into the station!!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it better to suggest ways in which SMRT can improve rather than to harp about how serious the security breach is?

The former shows sincere concern about our security while the latter seems intent only on laying blame from behind a facade, for whatever reasons.

DanielXX said...

thinking that allowing graffitti will spur creativity is as naive as thinking that allowing bartop dancing will suddenly make people attain a swiss-level of living.

Lanjiao fark brains!

Anonymous said...

The Two Foreigners will have wonderful memories of SIN when they return to their homelands.

By the way, there should be no need to give suggestion and or idea on how to protect our national assets, people and or properties. The Management and Government Specialists are experts and are the most professional at the Arts of crime prevention and defense. Most importantly, they are paid to do the jobs.

Layman Singaporeans must not interfere with the duties of the Professionals. Imagine that if all Singaporeans have their wishes, ideas and opinions granted, no one will want to run the show.

Leaders must have the power to protect the people and the land as well as to reign(the masses). And they(Leaders) must be the Best in the Land, meaning they should not be complacent, negligent or incompetent.

patriot

Anonymous said...

What is credible is that the police can identify the two culprits in so short a time.

The lesson to learn here is that the management of all vital installations should relook their security measures.

Reminds me of my early NS days when Special Constabularies (NS) were assigned to do security guard duties at vital installations (against Indon infiltrators) armed with ancient shotguns and the warning not to load them less we blow our own head off!!! What a joke!

Obviously the policy makers are not aware what the people downstream are doing in carrying out their orders. Just look around such inadequacies can be found all around us! Zho hee only as the hokkien saying goes

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that some of the aliens posting here life in singapore. At least it spares my country (also filled with the same type of 'Oh my god, he destroyed our stupid train' people) a couple of these imbecils.

Anonymous said...

Since he is a Swiss, he should be punished according to Swiss law??
Tried to tell that to the american judge when u comment a crime in America and see if you can be punished according to your own country's law??

Anonymous said...

I have a question for those who are defending Mr Flicker for his "freedom of expression". If you happen to live in Singapore or some other country with strict anti-graffiti laws and he sprays paint at your house or your car, would you report him to the police, knowing that he might be caned?

Anonymous said...

Something unrelated but just so we can get an idea of the fact that Singapore is getting more dangerous by the day.

My home has just be a target of attempted burlary during lunch time today when I was home! Such daring acts in broad daylight. Either the culprit thought our SPF was useless or he was desperate.

Patriot, whether or not you are serious about leaving it to the expert, I suggest we all look after ourselves and our property by taking measures to avoid being the next victim.

Blaming and crying over spilled milk will not get us our lives/property back.

Anonymous said...

Burglary.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 8/6/10 03:52

You should invite Fricker and the like to decorate your car, home or office. I am sure many would be willing to oblige for free.

Surely you are too intelligent to miss such a good deal.

Terry said...

i like your posts they are refreshing:)

Anonymous said...

To Anon 14:13

Hi, i mean we can't be paying those responsible for the upkeeps of Laws and Orders AND THEN WE THE PEOPLE HAVE TO DO THEIR DUTIES.

THE LAW AND ORDER KEEPERS HAVE TO DO THEIR JOBS ! AND DO IT WELL.

That's what i meant.

Thank You for the interaction.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Hi patriot, I agree with you but I personally feel that paying someone to do the job does not absolve ourselves from personal responsibility.

Yes, we should hold the negligent responsible, by telling them with our votes. Or, we could tell them what we expect to be done (nobody's perfect although I am also quite sick of the "Let's move on" line) and if they still do not improve, well, again, show them we are serious with our votes.

Unfortunately, my person observation is that Singaporeans complain a lot, but when it comes to the crux, they are toothless puppies who excel only at pointing fingers.

Honestly, that irritates me because it is so hypocritical and cowardly, not to mention ineffective.

Anonymous said...

patriot likes to say that Singaporeans have been too proactive in volunteering without realizing the damages done.

Many supposedly top talents are employed with super remunerations doing works in the governance of the country. Permanent Secretaries, Policies Researchers, Judiciary and Home Affairs Specialists, Defence Experts and of course the Ministers. They are so well paid that one had no qualm paying tens of thousands for a week's cooking class abroad and came back to publicize it.

Other than the lapses that had occurred which caused the losses of live through crimes and compromises of national security in the Escape of Mas Selamat, a child murderer and others under bails. Now, we have intrusions into protected place and previously soldier taking firearm into hotel.

The Policy Studies Specialist and Anti Terrorism Specialists that appeared in the telecasts and newspapers never fail to boast their abilities to keep us safe and happy. Do they?

Some of the Terrorism Experts that are Imported Talents came from their homelands which had frequent damaging terror attacks. Why are they not protecting their homelands and or even stay at home to protect their compatriots?? Are they as expert as they are engaged to protect us???.

Every time a Singaporean volunteers or helps to prevent something bad from happening and give donations to the needy and weak, the governors and special talents will think and believe they are really good at their jobs. Singaporeans by now should know that many of them were complacent, negligent and downright irresponsible.

And

Worse, each time a bad incident happened, they absolved themselves of all guilt and move on to retain their posts and some even received awards after making blunders. It's actually a case of not only credits going to the wrong people who claimed them with mouths open, the voluntary works by the people in fact make the leaders lazy and complacent.

SO, YES! IT INDEED RESULTED IN US, THE PEOPLE, HAVING TO BE EXTRA VIGILANT AND LIVE ON THE EDGE ALL THE TIME.

NOT ONLY THE LEADERS HAVE TO BE MORE DISCIPLINE AND COMPETENT, THE PEOPLE TOO, MUST KNOW OUR OWN FOOLISHNESS IN DOING THEIR(LEADERS') JOBS.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Like I have said, if we think we are doing the leaders' job and they aren't worth the money, vote them out or tell them what to do.

Just as we hire domestic helpers to do our chores, we tell them if we aren't satisfied or ship them back. That does not mean we should not lift a single finger when the toddler drops his lollipop on the floor and the helper is busy cooking in the kitchen.

Having an attitude of this-is-my-job-and-that-is-yours without give and take does not a gracious society make.

A truly concerned citizen, I believe, will not be that calculative because he would be happy if the country is well, regardless of who the credit goes to.

So what if someone claims unmerited credit? We all know whether they deserve it or not. So what if we complain? They will claim it anyway. What good can complaining without action do?

Anonymous said...

Oh yes, there is really no need to shout :)

lim said...

I think the swiss will probably be let off with a slight penalty.. Remember this is pap run singapore, where westerners are talents.. If the same crime is committed by a local or some asians, pretty sure the law will come down on them hard...

Anonymous said...

Probably they arrested the wrong guys...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5htwY2bopg

Sandy Sanchez said...

When this man is caned I sincerely hope that the International media will do its job along with the Human Rights organizations from across the world in exposing the archaic ritual of beating males (caning) in Singapore. They need to expose too the barbaric government and its ruthless judicial system. The media blitz needs to be extremely intense as it has long ignored this odd obsession with flogging, and it doesn't need to end once the action has taken place either. It needs to continue every time ANYONE is subjected to this torture. Brutal beatings are so commonplace in this country that thousands have been beaten over the past few years and whippings occur every week in its prisons. Perhaps if Singapore's tourism and ecconomy suffers, its image is already tarnished because of this, this sadistic violence will end and Singapore can join the rest of the free world's real democracy's that outlaw this legalized torture.

Anonymous said...

The art work, it's really beautiful. Too bad its most likely going to be taken off.

So silly, we wanted an art culture here, and here we have it. But it was met with punishment.

Anonymous said...

Maybe oliver fricker and his buddy were drunk or high and they did it as a game of dare...just for the fun of it to see how far they can get away from doing what they did in an antiseptic country they live in.

Anonymous said...

In many Middle East countries the penalty for adultery is death by stoning. Many in these countries believe their laws should be enforced, just like many of the citizens of Singapore firmly believe feel their laws should be enforced. Therefore, any Singaporean who commits adultery can and should be stoned if caught within the jurisdiction of these countries. They would be killing Singaporeans like chickens if we were to follow the logic of the Government of Singapore and it’s citizens. Should such counties in the Middle East start targeting Singaporeans as a means to keep their citizens safe?