Thursday, January 07, 2010

Singapore voyeurs and exhibitionists

Are Singapore becoming more and more voyeuristic? The recent news seems to suggest so.

At the countdown party in Sentosa Siloso beach, a girl scantily clad in a bikini was

held and molested by 4 men vigorously. Singapore partygoers just watched the molestation of the helpless lady, with many taking out their handphones, cameras and videocams, busily taking videos and photos of the perverse act, with nobody lifting a finger to help or even calling for the men to stop! See:

Also occurring on the long weekends of the new year, party-goers and night owls watched in horror as a man with his face masked in black plastic went around the island vandalizing mailboxes belong to Singpost, spraying ink and creating graffti on these mailboxes calmly and nonchalantly, to the horror of passer-bys. He called himself ‘Inkman’ and it was shocking that despites the significant length of time he spent vandalizing these mailboxes, no Singaporean dared to stop him or to even shouted to him to stop. Instead, Singaporean passer-bys took out their cameras and video cameras once again, shot a slew of photos and videos of the vandal and his vandalizing act and posted them online. These eventually hit the headlines news and the police stepped in to investigate the case until Singpost apologized that this vandalism act was their marketing gimmick in support of the Singapore Youth Olympics. See:

When the photo of the vandal was published on the newspapers, I was also shocked that such thing actually took place in Singapore. It did not matter that this vandalism act was now make known as a publicity stunt which was in bad taste and went awry as together with the aforementioned molestation case, these two incidents spoke of the civic consciousness of Singaporeans as a whole!

As a Singaporean, I am alarmed at the actions of the Singaporeans. What happened to the civic consciousness of Singaporeans? It seems that when Singaporeans now see a crime taking place, people needing help, all they would do first would be to whip out their handphones or cameras, shoot these photos and videos, upload onto websites and blogs to be the first to break these hot news, so as to garner lots of eyeballs to their contributions and make a fame for themselves!

Singaporeans have become voyeuristic. The ill effects of the internet have seemed to rub off on Singaporeans. With the advent of the internet, besides becoming more voyeuristic and less civic-minded as mentioned earlier, Singaporeans have become more exhibitionistic, making videos of themselves; some even shot videos of themselves making love and bullying others.

Some years ago, a Singaporean professional was beaten by a group of youths till he died. What was shocking was that the youths recorded all their beating and their perverted laughing and taunting of the poor man as they beat him on their handphones and posted them online. At that time, it was a fashion to record such acts on handphones and share with the world. In Singapore, we also read of school bullies beating up their classmates, molesting, raping ragging, asking their classmates to do perverse sexual acts, record and post them to Youtube and the slew of online social networking medium.

It seems that the new internet tools have undermined our social norms and mores.

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