Saturday, June 5, 2010

Singapore. A heartfelt thanks to the Swiss graffiti artist, Oliver Fricker.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Singapore's state owned and controlled propaganda newspaper, the Straits Times online edition of June 06, 2010 has this story "Swiss national charged". It is the story of a Swiss man, Oliver Fricker, 32, who had cut through wire mesh fences in a train depot in Singapore and tagged graffiti on a train in the words "McKoy Banos".

He has been arrested by the police in the one party city state, run by Lee Kuan Yew and his son.

The offense of tagging graffiti, in Singapore called "vandalism" carries not only a jail sentence under it's draconian laws, but also "beating",(a form of legal punishment in Singapore called "caning") where the victim is stripped naked, strapped to a trestle and brutally beaten on his buttocks until they bleed and is turned into a soggy mess of flesh and blood.

The resulting severe scarring of the body results in permanent disfigurement, which is untreatable even with surgery.

As many as half the population of Singapore have been subjected to this hideous form of brutality but Singapore has so far resisted any calls to do away with it, on the grounds that it prevents crime. A similar argument is advanced by the Saudi Arabian government to justify the chopping off of limbs and the beheading of criminals.

This brutality of beating prisoners was a punishment introduced by the British colonial rulers of Singapore in the early 20th century, the purpose principally being to discourage the writing of slogans on walls calling for Independence, for example "Down with the British".

Although both unacceptable and immoral, still such barbarity was commonplace in the earlier days of civilization where men were burnt on the stake for sacrilege and apostasy.

But Singapore's retaining such brutality as official punishment and at the same time claiming it to be a modern first world country shows the shameless blatant hypocrisy of the dictator of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew and his one party government.

Oliver Ficker who is a Swiss business consultant and a Singapore resident, I am sure, was and is fully aware of the consequences of his actions, which is that if arrested he not only stands to be imprisoned, but also stands to be brutally beaten.

But yet he did it. And that is why he deserves our heartfelt thanks admiration and respect for his courage and his admirable sense of civic duty for his actions in exposing to the world the unjust brutal laws of this tin pot dictatorship.

Oliver Fricker, despite knowing the harsh punishment that awaits him, was telling this Singaporean tyrant Lee Kuan Yew that he was going ahead and writing what he wanted on the train thereby challenging the Singapore authorities to arrest him and beat him.

If Singapore did in fact jail him and beat him, this would become overnight international news of a Swiss national being beaten in Singapore for merely writing graffiti.

In no other country in the world, except perhaps North Korea or Burma would a man be beaten and jailed merely for tagging graffiti.

By jailing and beating him, Fricker would be doing the cause of freedom in Singapore a truly great service by once again showing the world what brutality and injustice lies beneath the veneer of respectability that this government tries to show the rest of the world.

It would turn out highly embarrassing for Singapore to be depicted once again as an intolerant one party fascist state that only manages to remain in power by brutalizing its people.

Remember, in the past, Michael Fay, an American was beaten in such manner also for tagging.

On the other hand, if Singapore's Lee Kuan Yew decides to let Frick escape the beating, the observer can clearly see that they are feeling the heat of their stupidity and are now seen as backing off.

Whether or not Lee Kuan Yew's government instructs his judges to order the beating (in Singapore the judiciary is not independent and is required to carry out the government's orders) or to let him go, Fricker wins either way. If he is beaten, he will be able to tell the world of the brutality and the lack of rule of law. If he is let off, it is a victory not only for Fricker but the cause of freedom in Singapore, by forcing them to admit that they were wrong.

I am sure Fricker on his part really prefers that he is beaten, since that would cause much more damage to this fascist Lee Kuan Yew government.

Gopalan Nair
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

Your letters are welcome. We reserve the right to publish your letters. Please Email your letters to And if you like what I write, please tell your friends. You will be helping democracy by distributing this widely. This blog not only gives information, it dispels government propaganda put out by this dictatorial regime.


mycroft said...

Putting some flesh on the bones of this story, this guy and allegedly A.N.Other had all the time in the world to cut through a barbed wire fence in a highly sensitive area which should have been watched like a hawk given its potential for terrorist mayhem. They then spent the greater part of an hour in the depot, minimum, happily spraying away with nary a soul or wandering security guard to interfere with their artistry. The escape was made without a problem and nobody was any the wiser. Indeed, the newly decorated train ran its usual scheduled service for two whole days before anyone at SMRT even noticed anything was amiss with the best laid plans of mice and men - and that only because the bloody train was featured on YouTube!

So much for the vain and empty boasting about the safety and tight security you enjoy when in the embrace of the world's highest paid government. That it's all PR spin has been demonstrated only too clearly by our intrepid graffiti artists. Pay peanuts, get monkeys. Pay a king's ransom and you STILL get the same incompetent chimps. The escape of alleged terrorist mastermind Mas Selamat through an unsecured toilet window at a 'super high-security' prison was a stark warning that a robotic society is conditioned to wait for orders and not to show any initiative by definition. We saw exactly that same response with SMRT as we saw with Mas' guardians - shirk responsibility and look for a scapegoat. Far from charging Mr. Fricker for the offence of vandalism, this inept government ought to offer him a medal and honorary citizenship for exposing a gaping security hole in its management of the nation's defences.

As for the charge itself, that word beloved of LKY's regime - MANDATORY - will once again arise to cause the PAP self-inflicted grief and damaging publicity. The judge's hands are now tightly bound as with the mandatory death penalty and no deviation from rigid sentencing is possible. If found guilty, Mr. Fricker MUST be lashed the prescribed number of times. Michael Fay's caning still damages the standing of Singapore even today in the same way that Saudi Arabia is tainted by a reputation for beheading adulterers.

Irrespective of whether you consider the painting 'art' or 'vandalism', where the punishment manifestly does not fit the crime there will be universal outrage and Singapore can look forward to a roasting on the Internet and the news wires. The pictures of Fricker's flayed flesh if he chooses to put it on the web will be dynamite.

Alvin said...

"As many as half the population of Singapore have been subjected to this hideous form of brutality..."

You sure???

Anonymous said...

as a resident of Singapore the vandal must have been aware of the consequences. "If you can not do the time, dont do the crime". Maybe an extra lash should be added to any total for his stupidity.

Anonymous said...

Oh, so we should just bow for the law no matter what it says? Maybe you deserve some lashes for YOUR ignorance and stupidity. People like you is why we see governments reign and no revolution. Fool..

Anonymous said...

The train look so much more interesting with the graffitis

Anonymous said...

Trust me, this guy gonna get Hell!
Wong Kan Seng will not allow him to scott free for face sake,& that he had succeeded to walk in & out of such "tightly secured"place without even being noticed after nearly 2 weeks?! wow, what an efficient country who boasted home team security nothing less than e best in the world!?again, i would explain the short & cocky minister to sack someone else and say,"is an honest mistake, let's move on" & LHL to challenge anyone who ask Wong to resign and say,"are you saying that the Minister should resign"?YES YES & ask the short arrsee to get lost & sent him to North Korean for failing his duty!
Whack or no whack, poor Swiss guy did something good for SE pple but suffer in the name of FREEDOM for SE pple..hooray and yes indeed, all pple involved in this show needs applauding themselves for being such an idiots and as for the 2 hero, a sounding welcome home will be served in their homeland...i suspect there will be an inner negotiation to save the face out...

Anonymous said...

Singapore country has indpendence, But not for the people. Now we are slaves to the one man & one party ruled city country. I think it is better if we are ruled under british,,

Shannon said...

Hey, first off great blog! Very informative. And some of the replies are a good read too. You raise some very valid points about the lack of security and also how the punishment is no way inline with the crime, i mean come on, jail and caning for vandalism? I think you are correct about the world will be watching this story with interest, as we are mostly united in thinking how draconian your laws are there. Look the guys coulda blown the city up if they wonted to, but they didn't they just do art. And it looks great. I'm interested how they got caught, seems they got in and got out ok so how did they get caught? CCTV? Im sure they would of had maskes on... It's a shame they got caught i think. Pretty brave (or a bit foolish too) to risk your freedom and job over it. $100,000 bail? WHAT? They didn't even hurt anyone... Weird how stiff your laws are there, i would hate to live like that.

Michael said...

Yeah the guy broke a few laws, but as many stated the punishment is extremely harsh and draconian for such a minor crime. And a $100,000 bail??? Goodness.

Rather than appearing as firm towards vandalism, Singapore risks showing that it is utterly intolerant to art and freedom of expression. But as it is, it will remain a strait-jacketed society under the current government of the "People's" Action Party.

Anonymous said...

A premeditated act of ‘vandalism’; the perpetrator knew he was breaking the country’s laws, whether these laws and associated punishments are draconian is another argument. I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but I have also spent a number of years in Singapore. In most cities in the UK people do not feel free due to a fear of crime. People in Singapore may not be ’free’ in a westerner’s eyes but in everyday life they have much more freedom. Maybe these draconian laws and punishments are needed to bring 'freedom' to the residents of British cities.

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous of June 27, 11.07 am,

Firstly strange that even though you claim to believe in your statemtent, yet you rather remain anonymous. This point, we will leave alone for the reader to decide.

Second, it is unecessary to waste too much time on your argument. It is flawed.

A country's laws must be just, any country. These ar not just. If you have lived in the UK, you should know that Englishmen are not at present or at anytime making a bee line to settle in Singapore if what you claim is true.

In fact, Singapore is the butt of jokes in the pubs of Leeds.

Freedom is not something in the Westerern sense or Asian sense. Freedom is freedom. It's definition is universal.

These laws mandating torture and beatings are not Singapore's laws. It is Lee Kuan Yew's laws. Singapore is not a democracy with an elected representative parliament. It is a rubber stamp with Lee the dictator.

Obvioulsy you do not know that. Finally I heard North Korea is a very peaceful place and it has torture and beatings even better than in Singapore. You may consider emigrating there. They are particularly looking for English speakers as you are one.

You can freely walk the streets there, because any criminal will be tortured first and then shot. Even better for you.

By the way, you have not mentioned when you are going to move to Singapore.

mycroft said...

Anonymous June 27, I find it extremely difficult to believe you have spent any time living in the UK whatsoever. If you had, you would not have come up with a fatuous statement like "In most cities in the UK people do not feel free due to a fear of crime." It's complete and utter bollocks. The fact that immigrants willingly flock to rather than from the country gives the lie to your assertion which, unsurprisingly, you have not bothered to substantiate.

People in Singapore may not be 'free' in a westerner's eyes? Heh, there is no 'may not' about it. People in Singapore ARE NOT free in anybody's eyes, north, south, east or west. Singaporeans DO have a fear of crime - the worst kind of crime of all - that which is committed by a government against its own citizens. They share this unspoken fear with the Burmese, N. Koreans, Zimbabweans and citizens of the PRC, to name but a few.

To have that intangible feeling of freedom that you get in Europe the rule of law is mandatory. No ifs, no buts, no self-serving attempts to belittle Constitutional Laws as 'aspirations' because they are inconvenient to authoritarian rule. You need to be certain that the police cannot harass and slap you in jail on a trumped up charge with the willing assistance of the judiciary. You must be assured that you will not be subject to cruel and brutal punishment for the most trivial offences, like 3 lashes of the cane for overstaying your visa or painting a train without permission for example. You need to be in a country where lawyers will not and cannot refuse to defend you because they fear government repercussions. Last but hardly least, you need an independent, free and fearless press willing and able to investigate, expose and demand explanations for any abuses of the power by the authorities. In short, you need to be in a country where the government fears its electorate, not vice versa.

Singapore has none of these checks and balances. In the year 2010 its citizens still survive or perish at the whim of their leaders, just like medieval serfs in the Dark Ages. Half a million born and bred Singaporeans, the nation's brightest and best, have seen the writing on the wall and fled the land of their birth for a life of freedom elsewhere. Now what do you suppose would drive intelligent people to abandon the crime-free 'freedom' of your perfect little paradise on earth where one person commits suicide EVERY SINGLE DAY, eh?