Passenger boarding SMRT bus 190 only after 13 tries

From ‘Video of commuters who boarded SMRT after 13 tries goes viral’, 19 Oct 2013, article by Lee Jian Xuan, ST

A video filmed by a frustrated passenger who claimed she was unable to board SMRT bus service 190 after 13 tries has gone viral online. The edited eight-minute footage has drawn more than 16,000 views in four days. Most of the buses were packed, while some did not stop. The video showed commuters trying to board via the back entrance as the front was too crowded.

YouTube user Galaxnite, who uploaded the video, said that she and other passengers had tried to board at Thong Teck Building near Scotts Road, on the evening of Oct 4. She told The Straits Times that she takes bus service 190 regularly to get from her home in Choa Chu Kang to her workplace in town.

“The incident tired me out physically and mentally,” said the commuter, who identified herself as a 29-year-old graphic designer.

…SMRT said on its Facebook page last night that it had been alerted to the overcrowding on bus service 190. The transport operator noted that its buses were crowded, especially on Friday evenings, and said that it would continue to monitor the situation closely.

Last year, SMRT were penalised for allowing bus 925 to exceed the ceiling capacity of 95% during peak hours. Like 190, it also served Choa Chu Kang residents. The excuse given by SMRT then was that they had faced a shortage of drivers during the December period. The fine? $100. Just for comparison, SMRT declared in a recent report that fare revenue rose by 2% to $213.15 million for Q1 this year. Which brings me to question the effectiveness of punitive fines since SMRT directly profits from trains and buses being packed to the brim and can afford the occasional pittance because commuters have NO other choice. Someone needs to highlight that overcrowded transport isn’t as trivial as the fines make it out to be. In the video, the bus nearly drives off with someone’s arm caught between the backdoors. The articulated bus design is supposed to cater to the disabled, and not disable people.

Loading of buses falls under the category of ‘Operating Performance Standards‘ according to the Public Transport Council (PTC) website. I’m not sure how one determines if a bus is 95% full, but it’s unlikely to be the case for some of the 13 buses since some passengers in the back refused to budge. A bus could be HALF full and you would still be unable to board because of these people, the bus driver not doing his job, or on rare occasion if there’s a bloody python in the back of the vehicle.

PTC and SMRT could blame their customers, the driver or the Singapore Kindness Movement for the dead space, but such responses wouldn’t be so outright ridiculous if LTA hadn’t run a survey recently that tells the world how delightfully gracious passengers we are. For example, 96% of us say we would move in for others to board. The key word here, of course, is ‘SAY’, like how the authorities SAY they will monitor the situation CLOSELY, only for fares to rise again despite our complaints of poor service. More money for the swear-jar budget then. A more meaningful survey should have investigators stationed at busy bus stops and OBSERVING, not polling people just to get the answer they are SUPPOSED to give anyway.


Under the PTC’s category of Safety, one finds ‘Accident rate’ (less than 0.75 per 100,000 bus km per month), and it’s puzzling why a bus exceeding 95% of its capacity i.e overloaded isn’t also classified as a safety hazard here. Why is ‘loading’ a separate ‘deliverable’ from ‘safety’, and if a bus that exceeds its specifications for safe carriage compromises passenger lives, how do we explain the measly $100 fine? If bus 190 didn’t exceed the 95%, arrived at the right intervals, but didn’t do enough to pack the sardines in, would SMRT even be punished in this case?

Kudos to Galaxnite for sacrificing 2 hours of her time to capture a disappointing snapshot of the state of public transport and commuter behaviour today. Whatever the intentions of her filming consecutive buses, you can’t deny its impact. I probably would have given up after missing the fourth bus, but I’d also have to weigh the tricky odds of not being able to catch a cab (all pre-booked!), taking the MRT (only for it to suffer a train delay due to a track fault!) or switching to bicycle (get knocked down by heavy vehicle!). Considering all the above, a good bet to getting home in one piece and before daybreak would be to trek 14.2 km for 3 hours from Scotts Road to Choa Chu Kang via Bukit Timah Road. If you’re a brisk walker you could probably reach home by the time the 15th bus comes around.


Leonard ‘Santa Claus’ Francis defrauding the US Navy

From ‘SEX, ports and government contracts’, 6 Oct 2013, article by Walter Sim, Sunday Times

Singapore-based businessman Leonard Glenn Francis has been reported to own a sprawling 70,000 sq ft Nassim Road bungalow, which has become famous for its extravagant Christmas light-ups.

But his next home could be a jail in the United States, where the 58-year-old Malaysian father of five was charged last month with defrauding the US Navy in a case involving hundreds of millions of dollars in government contracts.

Part of the plot allegedly involved bribing a US Navy commander (Michael Misiewicz) and a special agent (John Beliveau) with luxury travel and women in exchange for classified information that allowed Francis to profit from his business dealings with the US Navy.

Leonard Francis has reportedly been living in Singapore for more than 30 years despite still being a Malaysian citizen. Last Christmas, the self-proclaimed ‘Santa Claus’ and Catholic adorned his Nassim bungalow with reindeers, a gigantic Xmas tree, even a nativity scene complete with manger. Who would have thought that this lavish spectacle (possibly costing at least $100,000) may have been made possible by ‘gifts’ of a totally different nature, among which include Lady Gaga concert tickets and what he called his ‘Elite Thai Seal team’, or prostitutes. When asked about the expenses, he replied ‘ You can’t put a value on happiness’. Not so for pleasure, it seems.

Francis started draping his residence in the Xmas spirit back in 2007, when he was at Cluny Road and already renown then as among Singapore’s ‘most ardent Christmas decorators’. An assistant was given a budget of $25K then to make Francis’ house shine as bright as Orchard Road, drawing complaints from those who saw the gesture as unnecessarily extravagant and felt that the money splurged on giant snowmen and Baby Jesuses should have gone into more charitable causes. The lighting even caused a minor traffic jam when cars slowed down just to gaze in awe at the audacious splendour of it all (Ironically, Francis himself has also complained to the Traffic Police about rows of parked heavy vehicles along Nassim Road). If he hadn’t been caught, this year’s light-up could have been bigger, better and brighter, maybe even with actual falling snow or a ship dressed up like Noah’s Ark sponsored by the US Navy, with Kai Kai and Jia Jia in it.

Francis’ arrest is a sigh of relief for Nassim neighbours who couldn’t sleep because of his annoying flashing extravaganza. In the video below taken of the house from a vehicle, someone quipped that he ‘basically baokaliao the sidewalk’ and questioned if decorating the place like it’s your grandfather’s road was even legal. Even if it were illegal, I doubt the authorities would go all Scrooge over it, especially on rich folks’ property.

In late 2012, just as Francis was getting ready to receive Father Christmas, his military contractor company Glenn Defence Marine Asia was charged for dumping hazardous waste in Subic Bay, Philippines, which dwarves the environmental burden of over-the-top Xmas lighting.  Of course that didn’t stop Singapore’s Mr Xmas himself from turning Nassim Road into a Winter Wonderland in a bid to out-Christmas Orchard Road, while at the same time sending ‘Not Safe For Xmas’ pics of Thai hookers to his partners in crime.  If found guilty of duping the US Navy and overcharging ‘pearl ports’, Francis may spend the next few Christmases decking prison bars with snow made out of wet toilet paper balls instead. No sheep in the manger for this conman in a slammer.

UPDATE (17 Jan 2015): ‘Fat Leonard’ has pleaded guilty to corruption charges and faces up to 25 years in jail. ’25’ also happens to be the number of days that Christmas has.

Lift Your Skirt, Save Your Life ad goes against Asian values

From ‘Ad catches the eye and raises a few eyebrows’, 8 May 2013, article by Debbie Lee, Eugene Chua and Joanne Lee, ST and 10 May 2013, ‘Cancer ad goes against Asian values’, ST Forum

“LIFT your skirt, save your life,” urges a new advertisement by the Singapore Cancer Society to promote awareness of preventive measures for cervical cancer. But the campaign appears to have raised eyebrows instead.

Public reaction to its posters, depicting celebrities in white dresses catching a rush of air from the ground, have varied from “catchy” to “obscene”…It features celebrities MediaCorp Radio 987FM DJ Rosalyn Lee, model and TV host Linda Black and 93.3FM DJ Siau Jiahui.

The campaign aims to encourage women to go for Pap smear screenings being provided for free by 178 clinics this month. However, more than 60 per cent of the 80 people polled by The Straits Times said the advertisement was not effective in delivering its message.

Respondents commonly mistook it for fashion or slimming advertisements….A quarter of the respondents felt the advertisement was offensive. “Most people are saying, ‘Oh, it uses sexual undertones to get attention, it’s effective.’ But just because it gets people talking doesn’t mean it sends the right message,” said Miss Yvonne Jin, a 21-year-old student.

The Association of Women for Action and Research agreed. Its executive director, Ms Corinna Lim, said: “It is a sad reflection on society that good causes also have to resort to sex to promote their message.”

(Dr V Subramaniam):…We have long cherished and promoted the age-old values of decorum, decency, good morals, respect for tradition and other attributes that go with our rich Asian culture. These values provide us with the cultural ballast against the influx of unhealthy foreign cultural trends and behaviour.

The ad to promote awareness of preventive measures for cervical cancer, which comes with the tagline, “Lift your skirt. Save your life”, is not in keeping with our Asian morals and is degrading to women. Left to the imagination, the crude insinuations can easily corrupt the morals of our young.

Otherwise you’ll get more than just a 7 year itch

Cervical cancer is no joke of course, as ambassador DJ Ross Lee would attest, having had a near brush with the dreaded disease herself. But you don’t need a controversial headline to grab the attention of Singaporean women. One four letter word starting with the letter F would do the trick: FREE, and that magical word that possesses Singaporeans into queuing long hours for stuff they don’t need is restrained here by small caps and boring font. Hell, you may even get a MAN to queue for cervical screening if you market your freebie a little TOO well. Maybe SCC should try the same tactic for prostate screening. I doubt anyone would complain of such an ad as obscene, sexist or defiling ‘Asian values‘, though some may accuse it of causing nightmares, loss of appetite and general distress.


It’s always tempting to employ ‘sexual undertones’ when you’re talking about cancers of intimate body parts. In 2010, another local cancer foundation used nude models to encourage women to, well, keep ABREAST of cancer prevention, painted NIPPLES and all. Just like those crying foul about this PAP smear campaign giving upskirt perverts ideas on the escalator, some dismissed body painting as crass objectification of women everywhere.

A very cheeky ad

Take away the provocative images though, and what you’re left with are awful puns like ‘Treasure the BREAST things in life’ in 2011, the kind of tagline that would only draw the attention and non-stop giggles of females with their breasts still under development. Unlike boobs, there’s very limited wordplay when it comes to organs around the pelvis without offending someone, especially when words like ‘penis’ and ‘vagina’ are still avoided by the media till this day. Even saying things like ‘Hey ladies, come spread your legs!’ can be as insulting as an orgy invitation.

You can’t make visual puns of erogenous zones without coming across as downright vulgar, like the ‘Unfurgivable‘ ad by the Ministry of Wax, which got some all fired up over a purse resembling female genitalia. Still, cervical cancer is the ONLY preventable cancer in women to date, which means delivering a necessary message and making it stick may be more important than what the good folks at AWARE think. All it takes is one person to notice the ad, ‘lift her skirt’ and get saved from disaster for the campaign to work. I don’t see how ‘skirt-lifting’ is a problem for AWARE considering they endorse anti-rape campaigns called SlutWalks. It’s also better to benefit from a lewd ad that is a ‘sad reflection of society’ and be ALIVE, than get your knickers in a twist and dead.

Singaporean girls getting 3/10 for fashion sense

From ‘Singapore women either wear too little or too much make-up: TV host Pauline Lan’, 26 April 2013, article by Jan Lee, ST

When Taiwanese TV host Pauline Lan was in town on Friday to launch the Singaporean version of her popular Taiwanese fashion and beauty show Lady First, she was not shy to blast the local women for fashion boo-boos. “A lot of Singaporean girls have either too little or too much make up on, it’s often not suited for the occasion,” she says.

Another mistake she thinks Singaporean girls make is wearing the wrong lingerie and underwear for different outfits.

Out of 10 marks for fashion sense, she gives local girls a mere three. Then she turns her attention to the Singapore men, saying it is their fault that the women do not try harder. Pointing out the men’s general sloppiness, she says: “Singaporean men don’t give Singaporean women the urge to dress up!”

If a local fashion guru slams us for dressing sloppily, we’d probably accept the charge. A foreigner, on the other hand, without an intimate understanding of our crazy weather, is less qualified to judge. But more importantly, an outsider scouting the streets for fashion boo-boos can’t be sure that they’re catching badly dressed SINGAPOREANS or other foreigners since there’s so many of the latter about. It’s also a misconception that women here dress up to impress fellow Singaporean men, whether they’re in flip-flops and shorts or suit and tie. Women dress up to impress OTHER women.  So, bros, go easy on the shoeshine and ties. The babe in the skimpy hot pants is more interested in what your girlfriend thinks than you.

But what’s creepy is fashionistas checking out whether your undergarments match your outfit. Does Pauline Lan have X-ray vision or go around peeking down ladies’ blouses? Isn’t underwear NOT meant to be seen at all? Or do some girls expose themselves intentionally like so:

Brazen lack of dress sense

Lan isn’t the first foreign image guru to remind us that we’re horrid dressers. Television personality Jeannie Mai refers to flip-flops as FLIP-NOTS, and endorses ‘wearapy’, which basically means to dress ’emotionally’, advocating the use of ‘energetic’ and ‘bold’ colours to lift your mood or confidence. Seems psychologically sound, though I’m less convinced by wearing purple at a public speaking event to ‘convey ROYALTY’ unless you’re giving a tribute to the Joker at a Batman Comics Convention. Or you’re just Groovy, Baby!

Good for public speaking

In 2012, French designer Roland Mouret was shocked by the ‘fashion disasters’ in his hotel, especially sloppy men with their ‘wrong shorts and flip flops’ and suggested that there should be a law against awful dressing in swanky places.  He must have avoided hawker centres like the plague. Shame. In 1994, image consultant Robert Pante said most Singaporeans wear clothes that ‘even burglars would not steal’ (‘Most Singaporeans dress badly, says image guru’, 14 Oct 1994, ST). But burglars generally DON’T steal clothes at all; the only people who do so are those with a panty or school uniform fetish.

Singaporean women know better than to take Pauline’s abysmal rating seriously. After all, this is a woman who wears a beaver’s dam on her head.

PM Lee joking about pork soup

From ‘Singapore PM draws laughs in US speech’ 3 April 2013, article by Matthew Peninngton, AP/Yahoo news

Singapore is well-known for its efficiency and order, but during a visit to Washington the city-state’s prime minister displayed a less advertised attribute — humor. In an after-dinner speech Tuesday to U.S. businessmen, Lee Hsien Loong made a couple of jokes that could pass for stand-up comedy.

He drew laughs — and some groans — with his quips, including one about China’s environmental problems.

“Beijing residents joke that to get a free smoke all they have to do is open their windows!” Lee said.

He then alluded to thousands of pig carcasses recently fished from Chinese rivers.

“(In) Shanghai, if you want some pork soup, you just turn on the tap,” he said.

His audience appeared doubtful if that was good taste, until he added, “That’s their joke, not mine!”

Ho, Ho

Our PM says the darnedest things. For years we have endured or been entertained by his light-hearted banter during National Day Rallies, when serious matters affecting the lives of Singaporeans are delivered with a dose of off-the-cuff, out-of-character humour. Dead pigs in the drinking water supply is no laughing matter of course, and it’s hard to believe the Chinese themselves would find it worthy of a chuckle, considering how their waters may be tainted with porcine circovirus. I suppose if the Chinese want to get back at PM Lee for taking potshots at the country’s air pollution and bak-kut teh in the water supply, there’s always Bedok Reservoir to make fun of.

China’s environmental woes have inspired comedy as much as their exported pandas inspire diplomacy. During the Olympics, celebrity talk show host David Letterman described the ‘air in China like the air inside Willie Nelson’s tour bus’. There’s a joke that you can ‘smell China’s GDP’ in the air. All this despite the astonishing statistic that more than 1 million die from pollution every year in China. There may be less casualties from drinking poisoned ‘pork soup’, but it’s hard to make any joke about environmental abuse without someone shifting nervously in his seat. Even in the spirit of April Fools’.

Here’s a sample of knee-slapping, rib-tickling gems from the man himself and how they rate in terms of LOLs.

On fertility (2012): “One Asian politician said why do you not have more blackouts? He has blackouts, he has high TFRs, does not mean I have blackouts, I will have high TFR.” Rating: LOLOL

Again, babies (2007): “I shall not discuss about the baby problem today. As Nike says, Just do it.” Rating: LOL

On ERP (2008): I have read a lot of the interesting things on the Internet.  Some are quite good.  I don’t have time to show you all of them but I’ll just show you one tonight.  This one says “Wah Piang Eh! the ERP has reached Pedra Branca”.  I sent this to Raymond Lim.  He says that’s his favourite one too. LOLOLOL

On getting Singaporeans to be less reliant on the government: “The government will try its best to solve problems big and small – whether it is a minister catching a cat or the Prime Minister saving the life of dog – but understand that some problems or disputes may not be best tackled by the Government.” Rating: lol

On social media (2011): Five years ago YouTube was insignificant, Facebook did not exist; all you had was mrbrown. Rating: LOL

A random joke on a BBC programme in 2003 (‘Top-level jokes’, Business Times, 28 Feb 2003) when he was DPM:

A drunk trying to cross the street was knocked down by a bus. A policeman helped him to his feet and said, “There’s a zebra crossing a few yards away from here.” “Well, I hope he is having better luck than I am,” replied the drunk. (Rating: LOL)

But of course the PM is funniest when the jokes are unintentional, especially when he talks about local food.

I suppose it’s OK for a politician to make a political joke at the expense of other superpowers, but poke fun at a PAP minister and you’ll be at the receiving end of a lawyers’ letter, i.e in hot (pork) soup.

A quarter million IKEA meatballs sold in a day

From ‘Almost 250,000 IKEA meatballs sold at 10 cents apiece yesterday’, 9 March 2013, Today online

Almost 250,000 meatballs were sold by IKEA yesterday at 10 cents apiece, as it marked the return of its meatballs at its Singapore stores. IKEA had stopped sales of its meatballs last week as a precautionary measure as it awaited DNA testing to confirm that IKEA meatballs sold here do not contain horse meat. This came after meatballs were pulled off IKEA menus in many parts of the world when it was discovered that IKEA meatballs in a European store had tested positive for horse meat.

The 249,375 meatballs sold by IKEA yesterday earned IKEA Singapore a place in the Singapore Book of Records for the ‘Most Number of Meatballs cooked and sold in a day’, according to a statement from IKEA Singapore.

For the whole of yesterday, 96,250 meatballs, weighing 1.54 tonnes, were sold in IKEA’s Alexandra store, while 153,125 meatballs, weighing 2.45 tonnes, were sold in its Tampines store.

Crowding with a chance of meatballs

According to a 2012 report, the average number of meatballs sold per day is 39,000, which makes the near 4 tonnes worth of 10 cent meatballs a SIXFOLD increase in a single day. From only TWO stores. You could create a meatball landslide with that amount, so imagine the avalanche that would result if the promotion had been on a WEEKEND. Who says Singaporeans don’t have ‘work-life balance’ when thousands can afford to queue up for meatballs on a workday? Many seem to have also forgotten that they once complained about the new recipe last year, when the balls were no longer as ‘firm’ as before. Doesn’t matter if taste or bounciness is compromised so long as it’s dirt cheap, so goes the Singaporean kiasuism mantra even if the meatballs were indeed tainted with horse, which frankly, is an animal that many locals don’t mind eating anyway. Along with mutton, it is one red meat that just about everyone can probably agree on. I, for one, would rather eat horse over, say, dog.

If there’s anything with an appetite for horse it would be our big cats at the Zoo, which in 1985 were fed with racehorse from our Turf Club. I wonder if we’d still gobble hundreds of millions of meatballs if it weren’t an equine scare but something more microscopic. Like faecal bacteria for example. It’s also a typically Singaporean trait to track such events as national record-busters in the form of the ‘Singapore Book of Records’. Being tiny as we are, breaking an island-wide record by blowing up mediocre activities to ridiculous scales doesn’t seem like a big deal. Unlike more impressive feats like ‘World’s Tallest Building’ or ‘World’s Strongest 2 year old’ where one showcases incredible feats of engineering, talent or strength, you have stuff like ‘Largest Mass Crab Walk‘. All you need is an idea of doing something so pointless no one ever thought of replicating it and hundreds of willing volunteers in a bid for charity or dying for silly exercise.

Some records are stating the obvious, like the Largest Garden (Cue the Largest number of people saying ‘Duuh’ at the same time). It’s also the Most Expensive Garden in Singapore (strangely the billion dollar price tag isn’t recorded). The most inexplicable record in my opinion: The most number of NON-SIKHs putting on Patkas together. Is there a ‘Most Non-Indians flipping Roti Prata’ or ‘Most number of Non-Chinese hurling Hokkien vulgarities’ too?

This is a record.

I could lead an event for most people twiddling thumbs at the same time and still earn a place in the book. In the IKEA horse scandal case, all you need to do is mark down an iconic cafeteria foodstuff till it’s almost free of charge, and your record-smashing accomplices will come without any coercion. Just to show how obsessed we are with food and scale, here’s a list of actual eating records from the SBR website. I swear none of these are made up. Singapore, you’ve totally outdone yourself this time. At this rate, we can probably achieve not just a Singapore Record, but a WORLD record for Most Fat people Stuffing their Mouths at one time too. In the meantime, the records keep snowballing – or rather – meatballing.

  • Largest number of people drinking herbal soup at the same time (600 bowls)
  • Largest Taiyaki (5,555 pieces)
  • Longest Swiss Roll (89.5 m)
  • Most mooncakes produced in one location (15,915 pieces)
  • Most people eating ice cream at the same time (1558 people)
  • Longest line of Roti John (32.3 m)
  • Most people eating chili crab together (431)
  • Most people eating hot dogs together (652)

The last one looks set to be broken if someone finds horse in IKEA’s weiners. 10 cent hotdogs anyone?

Society should protect the right to wear spaghetti tops and shorts

From ‘Shanmugam stresses case for death penalty’, 31 Dec 2012, article by Poon Chian Hui, ST

MINISTER for Law and Foreign Affairs K. Shanmugam has weighed in on the death of the Indian woman who died last Saturday after a brutal attack by six men in New Delhi. In a Facebook post yesterday, he called it a “heartbreaking case”, and said that he would often cite cases like this as examples when he engages in discussions with people who want the death penalty here abolished.

“Many would agree that this is a type of case where, if the injuries inflicted were of a nature sufficient to cause death, then the abusers should face the death penalty,” he wrote.

…In his Facebook post, Mr Shanmugam also cited a “good letter” published in The Straits Times last Saturday by journalist Deepika Shetty. “She points out that in Singapore, young women can go about confidently at any time of the day and night, in spaghetti tops and shorts – a right which they should have, a right which society should protect,” wrote the Law Minister.

Deepika Shetty’s piece ‘You’re on my mind, Dec 29, ST ‘ was an emotionally wrought open letter to the now deceased rape victim, from which came the following that so inspired our Law Minister.

A city (Singapore) that many argue is imperfect. But let me tell you, it is a city where girls can walk freely in their spaghetti tops and shorts any time of the day and night. I watched them that morning, striding with confidence in the streets, as they rightly should.

A few years ago, a short distance away from where you are now, I had dinner with Indian actress Shabana Azmi. When it ended close to midnight, I offered her a lift home in my car. She declined, saying it was ‘liberating’ to take a taxi alone at midnight.

Now I don’t know how it is in India, but some Singaporean women I see ‘striding’ around in spaghetti straps and shorts are not doing it out of ‘confidence’, more like ‘complacency’, which is a nice way of saying ‘sloppy’. They’re not dressing as if they stepped out of a corset or just threw their bras into the bonfire. The suggestion that we take our ‘freedom’ to wear spaghetti straps for granted is acknowledging the bogus relationship between flashing more skin and the likelihood of rape and murder. It’s like saying I should treasure my right to wear spectacles and not get punched in the face by school bullies.

What does the way Singaporean women get to dress have to do with gang-rapes and death penalties anyway? Is Deepika suggesting that if you dressed skimpily at night in India or anywhere other than Singapore, you’re more likely to be raped and murdered? It’s no longer socially acceptable to put the blame on a woman’s miniskirts or tight-fitting blouses like they ‘asked for it’ as it was in the 80’s. That’s the whole idea behind Slutwalk, a protest that went global because a Toronto constable said “Women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimised”. And this was in 2011.

Selling the death penalty over a tragic loss of life may come across as tasteless and untimely, but oversimplification of the motivations behind sexual attacks by summoning provocative clothing (or lack of it) is equally disturbing. Women get preyed upon ANYWHERE whatever they’re wearing. By making reference to ‘spaghetti tops’, you’re suggesting that ‘Women DO NOT need to avoid dressing like sluts in Singapore (Spaghetti tops and short shorts are rape-bait elsewhere, but NOOOO dress as sexily as you like in Singapore because we’re SOOO SAFE!)’. I mean, why stop at spaghetti tops, how about jogging attire too (though some women may be more terrified of going for a run at night that walking home late after prom)?

The classical rape victim is one who falls prey to a stalking and ambush, whereby she’s physically overpowered and cornered, the kind of assault that makes the news, garners sympathy and stirs outrage everywhere. The kind that depicts the male species as the hideous brute and monster, that blames society for its indifference towards gender equality and not protecting its women. We hardly take notice of the many rapes that are committed (often unreported), not by sex maniac strangers on a bus, but friends and husbands, in your OWN bedroom. We support putting to death gang rapists but will we hang the husband who strangles his unwilling wife to death while performing some gruesome erotic fantasy?

Singapore only APPEARS to be rape-free on surface, because like most developed nations we have a different sort of monster who has evolved the skill of subterfuge in their mode of assault, who deceive or chemically induce their prey into submission, or blanket their actions through emotional blackmail rather than toss their victims off a moving bus. Has our death-penalty loving society done enough to protect these women, spaghetti straps or not? I doubt so. It also hasn’t done enough for our children, boys AND girls. It hasn’t stopped high-ranking individuals from visiting underaged prostitutes, pedophiles from surfing child porn, or the depraved with their sick crush fetishes, fulfilling their rape-and-murder wishes through role-play and other acts of profane, ejaculatory hedonism.

Yes, these rapist buggers deserve the death penalty. And so does pointless rhetoric.