Cineleisure gang not happy with arrogant walking styles

From ‘Victim’s arrogant walk riled gang of youths’, 17 June 2013, article by Melody Zaccheus, ST

IT WAS the 20-year-old’s “cocky” walking style that purportedly riled a group of 10 tattooed youths who set upon their victim with parangs outside Cathay Cineleisure Orchard on Saturday night. Mr Wilson Siau, a full-time national serviceman, said he was smoking in an empty space between the mall and *Scape with five other friends after dinner at about 9pm.

The youths approached him and commented on his walking style, particularly the way he swung his arms, which they described as “arrogant”. Ignoring their taunts, Mr Siau turned to walk away when all 10 went after him.

He told Shin Min Daily News: “At least three of them punched and kicked me. Another two with parangs slashed at my head. To protect my head, I wrapped both my hands around it, resulting in numerous slashes on my arms and lots of blood.”

The parangs are said to have been about 20cm long. The attack lasted about a minute until security guards from the mall emerged. The attackers are said to have fled in three taxis.

Just over the weekend, it was reported that Singapore rose 7 places to become the 16th most peaceful country in the world. And then a gang-related incident occurs, where you have a young man viciously attacked in full view of public with 20 cm parangs over a trifling matter, getting away in TAXIS AT THE SAME TIME. It’s not mentioned how a bunch of bloodstained gangsters with weapons managed to get away in cabs so quickly on a Saturday evening without call-booking beforehand, but perhaps the police should investigate if the drivers were in fact accomplices to the assault. Some cabbies do look, and behave, like secret society members after all.

Most random gang assaults occur over petty disputes or staring incidents, and this slashing over having a problem with how someone walks is taking senseless violence to new low. Wilson Siau may be walking with less swagger from now on and he’s lucky that he doesn’t have to plod around with a permanent limp. Meanwhile, the authorities seem to have more success smoking out illegal immigrant prostitutes than local gangsters. Time to step up the patrols in Orchard and stop hunting down comic-strip and graffiti artists, boys. The lives of innocent shoppers are at stake here for God’s sake. It’s also probably not a good time for Royston Tan to start filming a sequel to the beloved ’15’.

Secret societies seem out of place in squeaky-clean Singapore, though there’s still one too many in operation, some even having bases where I live. In the seventies they did serious triad stuff like extorting hawkers, and have since indulged in enterprising black-market activities like hawking counterfeit and porno VCDS/DVDs, betting and online pimping. The rest without assignments sit around at McDonald’s all day waiting for someone to pick on with choppers and watermelon knives discreetly tucked in shopping bags or in baggy trousers because ganging up on unarmed victims and fleeing in cabs is such a MANLY thing to do. As you would expect in this age of social media, some gangsters even own blogs. They should be out there on Facebook as well, and I urge netizens the world over to report to the CID if they see anyone bragging over a posted pic of a bloodstained parang or a missing pinkie. Don’t get too agitated over kids posing with ‘gang signs’ though, they could merely be doing a Gwiyomi dance.

What’s interesting to me though, is how secret societies come up with their names. One of the oldest, Gang 18, was named after the ’18 Arahants’, which are described in ancient Buddhist scripture as ‘enlightened beings’ who are above worldly pursuits. Gang 24 was based on a Confucian morality tale about filial piety called the ’24 Filial Exemplars’.  Gangs 108 and 8 were named after the Chinese classics ‘Water Margin’ and ‘Eight Immortals’ respectively. Here’s another fun fact: The notorious 369, or ‘Salakau’, is supposedly an offshoot of 18, with the numbers 3, 6 and 9 adding up to 18. The rest, like Ang Soon Tong and San Ji Kia, sound like freaking chicken rice stalls (I write this at the risk of drawing death threats, but I don’t walk or talk like some big boss so it’s OK). If you want to start a secret society yourself, choose a multiple of 6 or 8 and not single digits below 4 because that would make you appear so weak that your peers will question your ability to even give a boy scout a wedgie.

With already flailing patronage, the last thing that our famed shopping district needs now is a reputation for deadly turf wars and hacking sprees. This is already the 2nd attack at Cineleisure following similar routs at Orchard Plaza (2012), Orchard Towers (2008) and Ngee Ann City (2001),  If something’s not done to weed out this menace, it won’t be GSS as in Great Singapore Sale, but Gangs of Secret Societies. If you really want to play safe, stay at home and shop online, where you won’t get brutally scalped for strutting, staring or wearing ugly shoes.

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