Give warning can already

“A person who is convicted of vandalism shall be punished with a fine of up to S$2,000, or jail up to three years and caning.  Police said they take a serious view of such irresponsible actions and warned that offenders will be dealt with severely.” (Channel Newsasia)

I’d wanted to write a longer post to perhaps persuade the authorities why this lady shouldn’t be punished “severely”. But then I thought, if the authorities sees it fit to throw the book at her – fine and jail [women aren’t caned in S’pore, by the way] – then words would be useless, and something would be more seriously wrong with them.

Come on, have a heart.

Give her a warning and let her go.


Lets not be so square in the head, so narrow in the mind, and so uptight about this that we speak of threats of “severe” punishment – and actually carry out these threats or punishments on this lady.

Yes, she painted the roads and pasted stickers on public property. But come on, it’s not like our lives were disrupted, or some calamity befell us because of what she did – or that these were her intentions.

She probably did these with no ill intentions. And indeed, look at her slogans on the stickers – “Press Once Can Already”, “Press To Time Travel”. I thought they were quite cute and creative, to be honest. They brought a smile to my face when I first saw these.

There are more serious criminal cases, I am sure, which the police should be looking into, and for which severe punishments would be justified.

As a friend posted on Facebook:

Please lar, drivers kill people on the road only jail 2 weeks or a few months. Paste a sticker want to jail 3 years plus canning? How is this justice? At the most make this person do some road sweeping corrective action lah. 

How about those people who anyhow paste their lousy leaflets on bus stops, why don’t arrest them? They even provide their phone number! 

I would also add that perhaps we should stop MPs from defacing our landscape with gigantically frightening billboards instead. This might be worse than just pasting a few light-hearted stickers.

Billboard of PAP MP Fatimah Lateef in Marine Parade. Can you spot WP MP Chen Show Mao in the picture?

Some more pictures from Sticker Girl:



  1. My first reaction was exactly like yours. Give her a stern warning and let her off. Afterall, I look at it as harmless fun. But then I remembered the Michael Fay incident. If she is let off so easily, what happen to consistency in the administering of laws ?

    One of my biggest frustration with our justice system is the unequal punishments for seemingly similar offences committed by the rich vs poor, foreigners vs locals, a who’s who vs a nobody.

    How do one reconcile the desire for a fair system against her case in this instance ?

    • Michael Fay was a totally different case. He was defacing cars and properties just for the heck of it. In this case, it is more art than vandalism.

  2. This is what you get for living in a supposedly so-called law & order country. 60% voted in this law, including the mandatory death penalty, this is what we’ll get: Reckless Punishment with total disregard of empathy, sympathy, feeling, understanding of human nature, compassion, penalties meted out inporportion with crimes committed. Defendants and crimes were not judged according to motive, purpose, the why’s, evidence available, mental state of mind, defendant’s income, background and education standard, the severity of the crime committed, eye witnesses, pyschiatric observation, pyschiatric report, proper legal representation, proper police investigation,no mitigating factors taken into account, but maximun penalties meted out merely based on altercation of the Law. Might as well fine people $1 million for littering, spitting, urinating and pooing in public.

  3. without prejudice…I somewhat may believe this person maybe belongs to the 3rd generation whose family at one time owned the land where she painted on the road, “My Grandfather Road” and also the sticker that say, “Press To Time Travel” going back in time as to who the said property belong to. It gives me a sense that this was my property or properties before and I can do whatever I like. But with the development in the financial district during the early years, maybe the painted road is a freehold or 999 property or properties that was “acquired” by the relevant development authority then and was paid pittance as compared to what it is today if one were to develop or leased to a developer.
    Whatever it maybe, I think this has nothing to do with creativity or art but I may believe she is make a statement here to the property or properties that maybe “acquired” when she was a little girl or unless one has nothing better to do, which I doubt. Whatever it is, I wished her well.
    As mentioned, in the early years of rapid Singapore development I heard of cases in the east area there were freehold properties that was acquired in the name of development by the Singapore authorities.
    On the contrary, if the “big guns” from the corporate law firms who specialized in commercial property reading this comment, please help or comment with on these questions.
    1. If she is a beneficiary (or if one is a beneficiary to any freehold or 999 property or properties then), whether such an “acquisition” can be challenged in the court of law here that she had suffered financial disadvantage, being a beneficiary to said “acquired” property or properties when she was little or just an infant then?
    2. And can she seek redress lawfully here and will she be compensated for financial damage based on today’s property market rate from the authority on the “acquired” the property or properties?
    If such an “acquisition” here in Singapore can be challenged in the court of law successfully, I believe there would be many such cases which the law firm can represent for families who suffered similar situation.

  4. I agree with you that we should stop MPs from defacing our landscape with gigantically frightening billboards. If I am not wrong, one of those fell.

    What are these stickers and ‘My grandfather road’. Tell me, who didn’t laugh or giggle when they read that. I think LTA should emply her to create stickers for all the traffic lights poles. Relax lah.

  5. Yes those oversized billboards and bunting with MP faces on it make me puke (I am glad I am Aljunied GRC so these things are history)
    The lady’s stickers actually make me smile while waiting to cross at junction.
    Isn’t it ironical that authorities consider the former national building while the latter vandalism .
    while many consider the the former unnecessary propaganda spending while the latter light hearted

  6. Well, to me, the question remains, why should she be treated different from any other vandals especially the baying of blood of the MRT vandals/graffiti.

    It smacks of the “double standards” applied between those who are in favour or not of the trend in the net.

  7. @Ali Baba 9th thief says:
    05/06/2012 at 5:36 am

    The message seems more like a poke at our Singapore psyche.

    ” My grandfather’s road” = I am gonna take my own sweet time crossing this.. you jolly well wait!”
    A cynical attitude that some people adopt, because cars are so expensive, you the wealthy driver, will now wait at my leisure!.. therefore, its my ‘grandfather’s road’ albeit for that moment

    ” Press here for time travel”
    If you think about it.. pressing the button does activate a timer..and while you wait, you are traveling thru time!

    Press once can already
    Jab at how our society feels that hitting a button many times means there will be faster response from the service

    Its a great way to express her observations of life here in Singapore.. very contextualised and I support it.

    Let her off with a warning.. and allow others to do the same..

    Perhaps create an avenue for artists, individuals to notify a Gov dept that such an activity will be done on a certain date, and place…. with some provisions:

    A) That all will be removed within 10 days ( or 30 )
    B) Cost of removal to be borne by the person
    C) No religious/racial subjects

    Bring art to the real world, allow it to be expressed.. it frees the mind and liberates the soul.

    Leave the nerds with the KPI inside.

  8. She is helping the gahmen with messages reminding the public about road safety, don’t damage public property, be patient etc. Why do we think she is doing something wrong when she is doing us a service with her own money and time? Punish her for what? Because she did not apply for a permit? Even apply, my grandfather may not approve it what?

    ‘My Grandfather Road’ = Don’t think green man you suka-suka take your own sweet time to cross, look out for that ferrari, watch out for your life! That area got many many supercars.
    ‘Press Once Can Already’ = Keep pressing will spoilt it faster and others can’t use it.
    ‘Press Until Shiok’ = When you are angry with our gahmen, use this to de-stress don’t f… him.

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