But all is forgiven when garbage piled up along various parts of the meandering queue to Parliament House - where Lee Kuan Yew’s body was lying in airconditioned comfort - despite an army of cleaners being deployed on the ground. A 57-year-old cleaner (Singaporean, not Burmese) who should have collected his CPF and be at home playing with his grandchildren told TODAY, “We have to constantly walk around to clear the rubbish... If there are more people we may have to work overtime depending on instructions.” The irony of the situation was not lost on one commentator, “Remember to keep the place clean and green. Don’t forget (Mr Lee’s) legacy.” Wait till the old man gets up and scold you, then you know.
Imagine the horror if the keechiu general had ordered packet rice to add to the hordes drawn in by freebies like bottled water, umbrellas, and snacks. Dismissing the freeloader mentality, there is another plausible reason for the horrendous queues snaking towards the casket for a 3 second viewing.
Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon which explains why hostages express sympathy and develop positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. Popularised in the 1988 movie, Patty Hearst, an American heiress from the Hearst publishing family kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), was a dramatic demonstration of the transition from victim to supporter.
The shift in Hearst's inexplicable behavior with the SLA has been widely attributed to the psychological phenomenon, an effect thought to occur when victims' initially frightening experiences are later countered with acts of compassion or comradery by those same perpetrators. The horror of the Central Provident Fund nest egg being held hostage are quickly forgotten, in exchange for GST vouchers, Pioneer Generation cards and other "acts of compassion". Either that or the surfeit of celebratory champagne is kicking in.