Gracious Living

Gracious Living

I’ve heard it told that, decades ago, antisocial behaviour was a real problem in Singapore and the government of the time acted decisively to stamp it out.

Offenders can still receive a caning for such offences as vandalism and overstaying their visa (although most of these punishments are handed out for very serious crimes), and I remember in the 90s that it was not unusual to see minor offenders shamed by having their photographs in the paper as they carried out community service orders like picking up litter, clad in distinctive fluorescent vests.

The most memorable tale, however, and it may be just a tall story, was that elevators in certain places were fitted with urine detectors. If these were triggered, they locked the culprit inside the elevator and alerted the police to come and arrest them ‘red-handed’.

Whether this is true or not, it seems there may be a re-emergence of the problem, judging by the banners that have been cropping up in my neighbourhood.

Of course, when large numbers of people live in close proximity, as happens in the HDB high rise complexes which house more than 80% of Singaporeans, people do annoy each other hugely with thoughtless behaviour.

These ‘Gracious Living’ cartoons are targeted at anyone who thinks they can get away with dropping cigarette ends out of their windows, or actually using the lift as a toilet. They are funny, but also to the point, and to be honest, there are so many cctv cameras in operation, you’d think people would know better. Let’s hope these serve as a valuable reminder…