In the 1997 defamation suit against Tang Liang Hong, Lee Kuan Yew applied to the court to remove certain words in his own affidavit which cast derogatory comment about the Malaysian state of Johor, words which caused a diplomatic row between Singapore and Malaysia:
"I was baffled. He (Tang) claimed that his life was under threat. But, of all places, he went to Johor.That place is notorious for shootings, muggings and car-jackings. It did not make sense for a person who claims to be fearful for his life to go to a place like Johor…"
The world must be baffled now, especially in the wake of recent comment by Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam who trumpeted, "Anyone can walk along most streets in Singapore, day or night. Any child can take public transport, and many do - parents will not have to worry too much". Notice the qualifier "most" in the sentence. Parents please take note, not all streets are safe in Singapore.
Less than 2 weeks after a Republic Polytechnic student was hacked to death at Downtown East, a Pasir Ris destination "synonymous with family-friendly recreation", 7 youths were slashed by a group of parang-wielding men in Bukit Panjang on Monday night. The first victim was 20 year old technician Jayasiva, who was walking home along a jogging track near 418 Fajar Road. When challenged whether he was a member of the Pak Hai Tong gang, Jayaysiva's "No" answer set them off, triggering the rain of vulgarities and 16-inch long parangs. The attackers next picked on a group of 20 teens at a basketball court at 505 Jala[ang Road, which happened to include an 8 year old. Frustrated again by their failure to locate Pak Hai Tong members, parangs were unleashed in a slashing frenzy. Before they left, the gang shouted "Sah Lak Kau", Hokkien dialect for "369". Unfortunately for the wounded youngsters lying in hospitals, the incident was not a advertising attention grabber of the fake bear type. This is Feddy Krueger type blood-letting in Singapore neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile ex-Home Affairs Minister Wong Kan Seng looks pleased as punch on the front page that out of 7,200 people who walked by a smoking car in busy Shenton Way, only 52 bothered to report the "suspicious" vehicles. And oh, a handful who stopped by did so to the take pictures or pose beside the smoking car, which had a gas cylinder in the back seat and wires sticking out under the door. "However, the fact that there were those who were alert and noticed the suspicious vehicle quickly and acted on it... give us cause for some satisfaction," Mr Wong said in his maiden speech to 320 civil servants as the Co-ordinating Minister for Nartional Security. Don't you think the bar could have be set a wee bit higher?