Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What did you do today?

Chinatown, Singapore

It always frustrates/annoys me that local people here are perfectly capable/prefer to play the role of bystander.

When there is an accident on the road, people on the other lane slow down.
To help? No, to take down the license plate number for 4d, to take pictures of the wreckage.
When a car breaks down in the middle of a highway, do they park their car on the road shoulder and lend a hand? No. They tut and tsk and pull out strings of Hokkien vulgarities to chuck at the poor soul.

When a schoolgirl on a bus gets felt up, and the entire bus comes to a halt to await the arrival of the police.

I've been living here for fifteen years. In this space of time, I have been felt up three times, two of them while I was in school uniform, on the public bus. The first two occassions, I reported it to the bus driver. Why?
Because that was the best I could do.
Because I was paralyzed by fear. Do you know how it feels to literally be paralyzed by shock and fear? To want to move but find yourself unable to do so?
Because, I was scared fucking shitless.
Because I was twelve, and then I was thirteen.
Because I couldn't do it alone.

Both times, when the bus came to a grinding halt and the hand brake was yanked, there was an instant buzz of noise from the commuters.
Time freezes for me then. I swear it's a half hour, hours even. It's not.
It is a matter of minutes; five, ten maybe.
The buzz of noise overlaps, builds up. The sound scape includes the angry click of cell phone buttons as people text their friends/their colleagues saying that "IT'S THE WORST DAY OF MY LIFE" because "I'M GOING TO BE LATE. FML TTM."
The noise, frustration, layers of sounds, builds and builds and reaches a crescendo.

"Excuse me," the most frustrated of the lot says, pushing his way to the front. The rest inwardly applaud the man. "HOW COME WE STOP FOR SO LONG."
"The police coming now." The bus driver would say, just as annoyed."
"Why! what happened?"
"Girl got molested."
"Aiyoh, then like that you have to tell us you know. You have to let us off the bus otherwise we will be late for work. you cannot do this, it is not right. PEOPLE HAVE TO WORK YOU KNOW."

and people also have a right to doze off without getting their thighs groped. People have a right to some sort of justice. Thirteen year old school girls have a right to PUNCH YOU IN THE FUCKING EYEBALL FOR YOUR BLATANT DISREGARD, INCONSIDERATION AND YOUR LOVE FOR YOURSELF.

Did I ask to get felt up? No.
Did I ask the police to take half a million years to come? No.
Did I ask to deliberately hold everyone up because I hate your guts? No.

But you see, the people in this country, and I don't give a flying fuck whether I'm making a blanket statement okay, they do not give two hoots about what has happened to YOU. As long as they can watch from a safe distance. As long as they can talk about it without it affecting their lives.
They. do. not. care.

It's not a matter of caring for your fellow countryman. For someone who proudly proclaims how she isn't from this country, I cannot complain. But it's a matter of just simply being human.

I was thirteen.
I was scared.
This was my SECOND time and I was still in shock and in a complete daze.
And all you can think about is how this is such an inconvenience.
(btw, there was a nice retired officer who stepped in. One out of twenty-five people, maybe? And only because everyone was screaming blue bloody murder.)

Some pictures surface on a public blogging forum,
they were taken during the major New Year party at Siloso

The link includes a video of the deed.

Notice how some of these pictures have managed to capture other people taking pictures.
Notice how many pictures there are.
Notice how the article talks about no one helping her.

There are so many people saying that she deserved it because she was drunk, because she was in a bikini.
Perhaps it might have been a situation avoided if say, she came for the countdown covered completely from head to toe. Because obviously, EVERONE ELSE was covered from head to toe at a BEACH PARTY.

Whatever the case, no one deserves that.

As if that weren't enough, people caught this on video, on photographs, and yet NO ONE HELPED HER. And then when this was posted up, you have locals saying that she deserved it because she was so drunk.

To anyone of you who think that, I truly hope that one day that will happen to your daughter. And then I want you to sit and watch videos of this happening to your daughter and then have people tell you that it was your daughter's fault for going out for a night of fun.

Judging from her size, even if she weren't drunk, I highly doubt she'd have been able to do anything. There were four men, all of them at least twice her size. Her knickers got yanked down, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

Don't ask where the police were at this point, don't ask why no one controlled her alcohol intake.
If you were there, and bore witness to this incident,
If you were sober enough to take pictures or take a video, YOU PROBABLY ARE CAPABLE OF PUNCHING THESE PEOPLE IN THE FACE.

I hate Singaporeans (save for my friends). And I hate Singapore.
But you know what, if I saw something like this happening, Lord strike me if I don't, but I will go up and in the very least pull her away. At the most, I'd get chucked into jail for starting a fight and lose any chances of studying in the States.
But at least I'd know that I did it with good intent.

Look at those men, look at their faces.
If you can tell that she's drunk, wouldn't it make EVEN MORE SENSE to help her? Or does that not even occur to you?

And, pardon me if i'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure I heard cheering when her knickers got yanked down.

You, all of you, you talk about this, you complain and you jeer and you blog and you post these pictures up after taking them.
You blame the assholes who did this.
You blame the police, who weren't around to help.

You say, "Oh it's all these Foreign Workers."
It's not, not all the time.
My first two experiences were with LOCAL CHINKS.
So you could ban aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaall foreign workers at these sort of parties. All of them, who came in from Korea, China, Japan, India and, GASP, UK and US.
You could, if you believe that would help (but you probably wouldn't ban whites now would you? scoff)
But local men are just as likely to do it.
And what happens then?

You will have locals taping it down again but not doing anything else.

By taping it down, you are condoning it.
By standing by and doing nothing, you are an appreciative audience, you are condoning it.
By not helping this girl, you are just as bad as the people up there, feeling her up.
Don't you see?

And by being this sort of people, outsiders come into your country, feel up your girls and realize that you will not do anything more besides standing by to watch. What does this mean to them, then?
That they can come into your country, feel girls up blantantly and get away with murder.

Not doing anything is pretty something after all isn't it?

How, how, HOW can you stand by and have the sense to tape this/photograph this but not have the sense to punch those guys/save this girl?
You, my friend, perpetuate this problem.
There were SO MANY SHOTS, that there was clearly more to this than that thirty second clip.

And where were you?

No comments: