Monday, January 31, 2011

In Singapore, public nudity OK, but public speaking, no

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In Unique Singapore, as the Lee Kuan Yew Singapore government admits, you will never stop being surprised at their, strange ways; that is guaranteed. I wrote on Dec 19, 2010, Singaporeans going nude, a step in the right direction the article about an inexplicable phenomenon among Singaporeans who suddenly drop all their clothes in public without any provocation at all and walk around stark naked. According to the local state controlled papers the numbers engaged in this activity has shot up to about 500 a month!

We had heard of a 50 year old Chinese woman who stripped of all her clothes, and calmly waited at Singapore bus stop and getting on it just like that. One Chinese man went to MacDonald's for a hamburger without any clothes. Several more people all over the island were doing the same. Nudity it appears is now strangely the favorite pastime in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

The word of this has spread, it appears, as I understand many tourists have come to Singapore especially for the purpose of spotting naked people and taking pictures. However they have not always been successful since it is impossible to guess at which location the next woman or man is suddenly going to strip, and as a result many have been disappointed, not having seen any naked people.

One man in particular, Victor Guerrero, a 40 year old Italian Australian had told a local Singaporean on Thursday that he had just arrived the day before, and had waited all day, camera in hand next to the Singapore Merlion, a statue of a cross between a lion and a mermaid, which is itself not only unique but outright silly, hoping to catch a glimpse of the next naked Singaporean but sadly without success. He claims he has not given up and is hoping to change location for better luck.

Strangely Lee Kuan Yew's government has decided not to prosecute anyone for nudity, since the last report in the State controlled newspapers of naked people in public. We can therefore safely say that today, it is lawful to go around naked in Singapore. In a way it does make sense because, as it is so very hot and humid in the island, there is really no logical reason for clothes.

I myself confess that I had some temptation to do this myself in Singapore when I was last there in 2008 because, believe me, there could not be another hotter or more humid place in the whole world. Any clothes you wear will become soggy wet with sweat within minutes, that is how hot it is.

I am not sure the motive behind this strange activity, whether it is occasioned by the heat or is it a form of protest, but whatever the reason, surely Singapore has now earned another world title, the Naked People's Hub, among all the the hubs they already are; the prostitution hub, the idiots hub and not to forget the "Digits Hub" (remember Lee Kuan Yew's term for Singaporeans, "digits").

Nudists all over the world should keep in mind that their next destination should be Singapore, the one country which finally has decided to do away with any clothes. I don't think you could behave like this even in Amsterdam.

On the other hand, in Uniquely Singapore, while you could go around naked in public, you are not allowed to give a public speech unless you have a government permit. Dr. Chee Soon Juan has been repeatedly arrested and jailed for speaking in public without a permit from Lee Kuan Yew. This law of jailing public speakers has created a new problem for many with the advent of cell phones. I was told only a few days ago that Singapore police had arrested a number of people heard to be speaking in public, only to find that they were in fact speaking on their cell phones.

I understand that many of them were arrested and charged by Lee Kuan Yew's Attorney General who enforced the no speaking in public policy to the letter. Most of them were sent to the mental hospital in the island on suspicion that they were nuts for speaking to themselves, but when discovered otherwise, were given fines, which are called "speaking fines" ranging from $500.00 to $1,000.00. The judge had specifically warned them never to speak again in public, making it very clear that if they wanted to speak, they should do it in their own homes and not bother people in the streets by public speaking. I understand their cell phones were confiscated as part of their punishment.

This "speaking law" is the latest addition in the already existing litany of strange laws in that strange place, which include the no chewing gum law. Anyone caught chewing gum is immediately stopped by Lee Kuan Yew's police, their mouths prised open with "chewing gum tongs" and the gum violently forced out of their mouths after which they are giving a lashing at that very spot.

It must be a strange place indeed, with speaking in public being illegal while walking around nude is perfectly legal!

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

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1 comment:

mycroft said...