Singapore is becoming a scary place to live in.
Of course, never as scary as, say, Detroit or Johor Bahru, but it’s suddenly scarier than it used to be.
When was the last time the police shot anyone in Singapore, never mind shot them dead?
According to this news report, the correct answer is the year 2002.
Pretty long ago, huh?
When was the last time a dangerous terrorist leader was reported skulking around safe, sterile Singapore?
Before Mas Selamat Kastari, never?
When news of the JI leader’s escape first broke, I was amused. I know I shouldn’t have been, because it’s a matter of national security, but I was amused because it felt like a movie come to life. It grew into such a huge event that it’s hard to take it seriously because it’s so surreal.
When I imagine myself bumping into Mas Selamat Kastari on the street, my first reponse is, “How cool!” when it should realistically be “OMFBBQGSHIT RUN FOR YOUR LIFE HEEEEELP MUMMYYYY!!!”
Maybe it’s just me. I find it hard to take life seriously, sometimes.
And then, before the press is even done making a big deal out of our now world-famous terrorist escapee, the police goes and shoots someone dead.
When I first saw the headlines, “Man shot dead by police in Outram Park MRT” my immediate thought was that it was related to Mas Selemat Kastari.
Turns out that it’s not. It’s just another random violent episode.
I’m sure random violent episodes happen in Singapore all the time. It’s just that I’ve never witnessed or heard of them so many times in a month.
On Feb 23, the Goonfather witnessed a group of boys beating another boy bloody outside Bugis Junction. I was inside the building at the time so I didn’t see it, but the Goonfather said it was really gory and bloody and awful.
The next day, on Feb 24, I witnessed a fight in a Tiong Bahru carpark between at least two men, while other men tried to pull them apart. There was possibly a sharp weapon but no one was seriously hurt because of timely intervention. There was a lot of shouting and cursing, though.
I hardly witness serious fights in Singapore, much less twice consecutively.
Life in Singapore is getting weird, what with terrorist leaders being at large and fights and killings happening with alarming frequency.
Maybe a significant portion of Singaporeans feel scared and threatened by all these happenings. Maybe there are as many who still feel safely insulated in our Singapore-brand safety bubble.
I think I belong to the latter catergory, but I’m going to get more weirded out if these events don’t stop happening.
What about you?