Friday, June 2, 2006

Subtle protest display boards at Clementi Interchange

At around 1230hrs yesterday (Sunday, 5 Feb 2006), I was walking from Clementi Bus Interchange to the MRT station when I heard some serene Chinese-sounding music being played. Being a curious person who likes Chinese music, I ventured to investigate to source of the music, whether it was from a busker or some performers (this being the Huayi Festival).

What I discovered was around six laminated boards and that the sound emanated from behind the boards. A small curious crowd had gathered around the boards, drawn by the music. The boards in both English and Chinese criticized the Chinese communist party, with headings like: "CCP caused 80 million unnatural deaths...", "Suppression of Falungong...” etc...(I lacked the hindsight to copy down the headings, so the headings were contrived by me but of the same effect) Apparently no one was manning the store but it appeared that a man with a hand phone in his hand standing close to the boards might be linked.

Who were the people behind this display? I can only guess that they were Chinese nationals in Singapore studying or working...

Who then is the target audience? Singaporeans, Chinese nationals and other foreigners. A lot of students of the National University of Singapore pass through Clementi Interchange everyday. So do Japanese and Australians who live and study here.

Why do this? Being oppressed and unhappy, they want to make a statement. If they were caught doing this in China, they would most probably disappear (as my friend suggested) without a trace.

If white elephants mocking the unopened status of an MRT station were reason enough for the police to intervene, I suppose that this being somewhat of a political issue will warrant serious attention from the police, and I suspect that it would be removed within one hour either by the silent demonstrator(s) or the police.

P.S. It's a pity that I am not in the possession of a camera phone or a digital camera (I should be getting them soon), as otherwise I will be able to take some photos. If you happen to have any photos of the incident, feel free to let me know.

P.P.S. In retrospect, this may very well be some kind of social experiment by university students, unlikely it may be.