Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Singapore's tree huggers

Dear friends,

You may already know this. In Singapore all protests are unlawful. It's not that there is a law against protests. It's that there is a law against "unlawful assembly" of persons. And without the ability to assemble, then there is no protest.

I have discovered a quiet uprising mainly in residential areas in Singapore. Check out these tree-huggers.

As Singapore gets more congested, these bicycles find themselves squeezed for parking space. Despite the increase of more concrete for these bicycles, it seems the demand always exceed the supply.

See how daring this bicycle is? All the tree trunks were taken, so it hugged itself around a illegal parking sign.

I think this yellow bike may have died because it's been hugged round the Stop sign for many months. Speaking of which, some of the bicycles have long been abandoned taking up precious parking space or the coveted tree. (the slim trunks are the best)

This metal grating is outside a MRT station. It is meant for hanging banners. But the bicycles have claimed it. It's their mother ship now.In the past, the officers from the MRT station would confiscated the bicycles. But it was a losing game. The bicycles are tenacious! And they seem to multiply very quickly. Anyhoos, the MRT guys are now too busy picking up metal rail clips which are being dislodged from the aging rail tracks and falling off the viaduct. So if you're in Singapore, don't walk below the train tracks.

Oh, a reminder, it is not a good idea to call Singaporeans dogs. A China national, Sun Xu on a scholarship in a Singapore university found out the hard way. He had posted on his microblog that "there are more dogs than humans in Singapore". His comments went viral and of course netizens attacked him and perhaps even more so as he is getting a free education in Singapore. His apology, issued later came perhaps too late.

from Baey's facebook page

A member of parliament, Baey Yam Keng better known for his fashion flair said “We (also) need to reflect, are we the way that they described?”

But in seeming to come to his defence Mr Baey soon found himself and his facebook page the target of negative remarks. And that my friend, is how locals protest. Via twitter, facebook and unlawful bicycle parking.

I'll confess I did not quite understand how offensive being called a dog is. Perhaps it has to do with how different culture views dogs. Mr Baey who revealed he is born in the year of the dog finally apologized in parliament.

As for me, when I was growing up, I have been called "monkey" many times. I can't understand the significance of the animal either. My reply? If I'm a monkey, then you're an ass. Ass is a funny animal, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Hi Jane,

On the "bicycles" thingy.... Probably about could be contributed by FTs and if it's still there many moons later, the owners probably left SG for home.... Just my opine :)

But nice writing thou.. Loved the humor....


Anonymous said...

Oops left out the 1/2 in the comment above

Agy said...

Hi Jane, thanks for the post. I wasn't going to comment until I saw the above post - can we stop blaming foreigners for almost everything? I don't condone Sun Xu's remarks - they are offensive. But I don't think we shld immediately jump to the conclusion that all immigrants are like him. If we do, no one would feel welcome or call Singapore home (I do have friends who feel disconcerted with all these anti-foreigner remarks). Singapore cherishes itself as a multi-cultural & meritocratic society and it should remain that way.

Laurie-Jane said...

Hi Jane

The children at my daughters school use the word ass constantly I don't allow her to so she uses donkey instead it's much more fun for instance you can stick that up your donkey. Happy days.


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