Sunday, 23 April 2017

SINGAPORE: Under Extreme Pleasure, But Authorities Arrest Men And Women In Forest

According to the Singapore Tourism Board (STB), Singapore is "criminally shiok". (The Singlish word, it explained, denotes "extreme pleasure".)

The board took on the perceived negative portrayal of Singapore in a recent US television series Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders episode, which drew much flak from netizens for its inaccurate depiction of the little red dot.

In answer, STB on its VisitSingapore Facebook page posted picturesque shots of Singapore on Thursday night.

It also wrote "Is this what the 'dark side of paradise' looks like?" in the tongue-in-cheek post.

The photographs included the Marina Bay skyline, Changi Airport and Makansutra Gluttons Bay.

The television episode, titled Cinderella And The Dragon and released on April 12, was Singapore-themed.

It contained references to the country that netizens slammed as stereotypical and inaccurate.

The episode opened with a non-existent "Singapore proverb" written in Chinese that said: "Where there is a sea, there are pirates."

VisitSingapore wrote its own slogan: "Visit Singapore: 'Criminally' Shiok".

'SHIOK'

It added: "This is the real Singaporean 'proverb'. For the uninitiated, 'shiok' denotes an expression of extreme pleasure."

A special agent in the television show referred to Geylang as "the dark side of paradise", calling it "an overcrowded slum with a thriving underworld" where the Ministry of Manpower sends foreign workers to stay.

VisitSingapore countered with a photo of Geylang, saying: "Not quite the 'overcrowded slum' - Geylang's intricately designed shophouses paint a pretty picture."

The post, which has garnered more than 1,100 likes and 300 shares, was praised by Facebook users.

Authorities arrested 10 men and three women in the forested areas along Kaki Bukit Avenue 4 near the Bartley viaduct in an anti-vice operation.

The men are believed to be from India and Bangladesh, and the women from Thailand.

During the three-hour long operation, the suspects were arrested for wilful trespass on state land, offences under the Women’s Charter, suspected consumption of controlled drugs or for offences under the Immigration Act, Chapter 133.

The press was at the scene to witness the operation by officers from Bedok Division of the Singapore Police Force and the Central Narcotics Bureau.

An opening in the tall grass marked the entrance which led to a clearing believed to be where the illicit activities were carried out.

Walking through the well-trodden path, the press saw discarded condoms, used tissue paper and tubes of lubricant littering the damp forest floor. Amidst tall vegetation, two mattresses were found with insects crawling around the area.

At least one of the women was naked when officers arrested the suspects.
The area was active from around 8pm to midnight and the women were charging $20 per customer.

By 10.30pm, the suspects had been rounded up and taken away for questioning.

After the operation, commanding officer of Tampines Neighbourhood Police Centre, Superintendent Matthew Choo, said those who think they can commit crime by operating under the cover of forested areas are sadly mistaken.

He said: “The Police will come down hard on such activities and those who take part in these illicit activities will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”

Those convicted for wilful trespass under Section 21 of the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, Chapter 184, can be fined up to $1,000.

Investigations are ongoing.