Commentary on the recent stabbing at Raffles Place buzzed around how Singapore isn't a safe place anymore. I knew I'd be irritated by such narrow views, yet I still continue to read the ridiculous paranoia and xenophobia.
"Surely not local. SG not safe. Distressing. Nothing good. What happened. Not like last time. Tsk Tsk Tsk." Tongues have been wagging like menopausal aunties at a wedding banquet.
My views were contrary. What greatly struck me about the article was that people actually stopped the robbery. They participated in apprehending the culprit. Do you realise what this means? It means that I have to readjust my outdated view that Singaporeans are passive aggressive slobs who would just stand by and Stomp.
"Mr Nazir also saw a woman, who he believes to be in her late 20s to early 30s, holding on to one man's shirt sleeve. Not knowing who was in the wrong, Mr Nazir, who is a police national serviceman, went up to detain the alleged assailant.
Another passer-by later helped hold on to the alleged robber's lower limbs, he said."
"(Mr Nazir) was asked by the police to make a statement later that night. Asked about the kudos he has been getting online, he said: "If a lady was brave enough to hold on to the guy, then why should I be afraid?""I had expected folks to whip out their cellphones like, you know, some sort of super citizen journalist vigilantes they think they are while the robber got away. Which was also what happened of course.
"However, (Mr Nazir) said he was disappointed that there were many others who stood by to record the incident instead of helping."What I gathered from this incident isn't a doomsday prophecy that Singapore is going to shits. Rather the opposite, it gave me hope. Singaporeans actually have decent social ethics. They saw, they reacted fast, and the assailant was detained. If we maintain this trajectory, we will actually develop into a more cooperative and cohesive society.
I'd like to bring up Johor at this point though, where Malaysians live in fear of robberies everyday, and chances are if they were to derail an armed robbery they would be facing groups of parangs instead of one knife. It is understandable that most Malaysians would be reluctant to help out in such dire circumstances. From first hand accounts of my Malaysian friends, break ins with parangs are common, and yes their neighbours won't help because you may be a robber pretending to be asking for help. It doesn't mean their social moral compass is tardy, it is just that their reactions were born out of different circumstances.
Crime rates on our island could also be dependant on our neighbour's economy. We can't just point and shoot at foreign workers here without seeing other variables. There are many people less fortunate compared to those on our island. If I were a robber, I would also imagine Singapore being an easy target because we aren't used to robberies here. We're a people that like to wag our tongues and complain how badly we have it. I won't be surprised how easy it may seem to just snatch and go, because I too thought that our locals would go the way of China, remain frozen, and simply watch the scene unfold.
So yes, fellow people living on this island with me, take this incident and look at it from another angle. Try to avoid shouting how only FTs are to blame, or crudely debating why we should pay a dying LKY. Instead, have faith that our crime rate would be lowered as long as we remain vigilant. In other words, Singapore is still moderately safe, so let's not take things for granted. When crime rates spike, we'll need to collectively counter it as much as we can in our own ways.
Our island may not be going to shits after all, we're actually quite an alright bunch of folks.
Nah, give you more hope. Don't keep complaining SG damn cb.