Friday, 9 May 2014

Profanities On Rooftop Of A Toa Payoh HDB

Update 17 May 2014: Rooftop graffiti case: Five alleged vandals face new charges, offered bail

The five teenagers accused of sneaking onto the rooftop of a Housing and Development Board (HDB) block in Toa Payoh to commit vandalism had allegedly illegally entered other premises before.

Fresh charges were tendered against them yesterday for allegedly creeping into a construction site, the rooftop of other blocks in Toa Payoh as well as the rooftop of Marina Bay Suites on various occasions — alone or in smaller groups.

Boaz Koh Wen Jie, Reagan Tan Chang Zhi, Chay Nam Shen, David William Graaskov and Goh Rong Liang, all aged 17, had between four and nine new charges pressed against them yesterday. They may also face additional charges pending forensic investigations on digital devices seized, the court heard.

related: Rooftop graffiti case: Teen granted access to lawyer, but no gag order

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United Nations Rules for the Protection of Juveniles Deprived of their Liberty

11. For the purposes of the Rules, the following definitions should apply:

  • (a) A juvenile is every person under the age of 18. The age limit below which it should not be permitted to deprive a child of his or her liberty should be determined by law;
  • (b) The deprivation of liberty means any form of detention or imprisonment or the placement of a person in a public or private custodial setting, from which this person is not permitted to leave at will, by order of any judicial, administrative or other public authority.
12. The deprivation of liberty should be effected in conditions and circumstances which ensure respect for the human rights of juveniles. Juveniles detained in facilities should be guaranteed the benefit of meaningful activities and programmes which would serve to promote and sustain their health and self-respect, to foster their sense of responsibility and encourage those attitudes and skills that will assist them in developing their
potential as members of society.

13. Juveniles deprived of their liberty shall not for any reason related to their status be denied the civil, economic, political, social or cultural rights to which they are entitled under national or international law, and which are compatible with the deprivation of liberty.


17. Juveniles who are detained under arrest or awaiting trial ("untried") are presumed innocent and shall be treated as such. Detention before trial shall be avoided to the extent possible and limited to exceptional circumstances. Therefore, all efforts shall be made to apply alternative measures. When preventive detention is nevertheless used, juvenile courts and investigative bodies shall give the highest priority to the most expeditious processing of such cases to ensure the shortest possible duration of detention. Untried detainees should be separated from convicted juveniles.

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Full protections must be given to minors in Toa Payoh case

If you’re 17 years old in Singapore, you don’t qualify to vote. You don’t qualify to be conscripted. However, you apparently qualify to have your identity exposed and your character dragged through the mud if you stand accused of a crime.
Most of the mainstream media publications in Singapore have been quick to censor the “sensitive” aspects of the graffiti that was scrawled in public view. They seem equally anxious to “expose” and humiliate the alleged perpetrators of this “sensitive” crime.
Faces of the 17 year old boys in the police van squinting in the glare of camera flash adorn the online versions of the mainstream press. The boys look visibly shaken.

Publishing Photo of Toa Payoh Vandals Violates The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child - Remy Choo Zheng Xi

No security breach, but “secured” premises vandalised?

There was “no breach of security measures” by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council in relation to the vandalism case in Toa Payoh … said Dr Teo Ho Pin* (CNA).  Graffiti was found along the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4. on 8 May and five 17-year-olds have been charged with vandalism.

Earlier, on 5 May, a train at the Bishan depot was spray-painted with graffiti. This is the third time vandals have struck a key transport facility in four years, and the second time a train in Bishan depot has been vandalised . In the latest case, reports said the depot’s perimeter fence was intact, and SMRT has yet to confirm any security breach, CNA reported.

So how did the vandals get in undetected to deface the property and then get out again undetected? Goh Meng Sen** allowed the vandals to use his UFO’s  teleporting machine to get in and in and out of the secured premises, is it?

Why did the 17-year olds risk it all?
Five 17-year-youths are set to be charged for vandalism on Saturday, for their suspected involvement in the rooftop graffiti case in Toa Payoh

I expected the vandals to be caught, but I did not expect them to be 17.

Most 17 year olds in Singapore are politically apathetic and in their own world.

I wonder what caused these guys to commit such an act?

HDB vandals: Court to hear lawyer's bid for access to teen client

The State Court is due to hear an application today for one of the five teens accused of vandalising a Toa Payoh HDB block to be allowed access to his lawyer.

Defence counsel Choo Zheng Xi made the application when he could not get permission from the police to speak to his client last week. It is understood that he offered to meet the teen in the presence of the police so as not to affect investigations but this was also denied.

The suspect is one of five Singaporeans, all aged 17, who were charged last Saturday with vandalism. They are accused of spray- painting graffiti at the top of a 22-storey HDB block in Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. The expletives painted in red were seemingly directed at the ruling People's Action Party and the police. The five - Boaz Koh Wen Jie, Chay Nam Shen, David William Graaskov, Goh Rong Liang and Reagan Tan Chang Zhi - are in remand at Tanglin Police Division.


Some netizens have remarked that the police were able to quickly find the vandals in this case despite other similar vandalism cases involving loan sharking dragging on for months. Many commented that it was likely to be due to the phrases used which have offended the authorities. Others have noted that the case shows that there is increasing resentment on the ground against the PAP and people who feel oppressed are becoming more and more impatient and angry.

In this case, the boys are all 17 year olds, still unable to vote and would not even be able to vote at the next GE, yet they clearly have enough hatred for the PAP that they felt compelled to spell it out on a rooftop for all to see.

Does this spell and underlying problem with the way Singapore is governed or is it simply an immature expression by youths who don't know better?

Toa Payoh graffiti case - Five youths charged for vandalism
Three of the five suspects seen being brought to court on May 10, 2014 to be charged for allegedly vandalising the rooftop of a HDB flat in Toa Payoh. Photo: Ernest Chua

Five 17-year-olds were charged today (May 10) for their involvement in the rooftop graffiti case at Toa Payoh earlier this week.

Profanities against the People’s Action Party and the police were found spray-painted in bright red along the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4 on Wednesday (May 7) morning, prompting a police investigation.

The police said officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Tanglin Police Division conducted extensive ground enquiries and managed to establish the identity of the suspects. An operation was mounted on Friday (May 9), leading to the arrest of the five suspects.

Five Singaporean youths arrested for graffiti at Toa Payoh HDB block rooftop

Police have arrested five 17-year old youths for suspected involvement in a case of vandalism that had occurred at Blk 85A Lorong 4 Toa Payoh.

On 7 May 2014 at 6.47am, Police received a report of graffiti being painted on the exterior wall of the roof top of Blk 85A Lorong 4 Toa Payoh. Following the report, officers from the Criminal Investigation Department and Tanglin Police Division conducted extensive ground enquiries and managed to establish the identity of the suspects. On 9 May 2014, an operation was mounted which led to the arrest of the five suspects.

The five suspects will be charged in Court on 10 May 2014 for the offense of Vandalism with Common Intention under Sec 3 of the Vandalism Act, Cap 341 read with Sec 34 of the Penal Code. This offence carries a punishment of imprisonment of up to three years or fine up to S$2,000, and shall also, subject to Sec 325(1) and 330(1) of the Criminal Procedure Code 2010, be punished with at least three strokes of the cane. Link

Vandalism incident signals mounting public dissatisfaction in Singapore

The Singapore Police Force reported that the roof level of a public housing apartment was broken into and vandalized on Tuesday morning. The roof level of Block 85A in the heartland of Toa Payoh in Singapore was spray painted with vulgarities directed against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). The police are investigating the case.

Vandalism is rare in Singapore and the punishment for such an act is tough, hence every case tends to draw the eyes of the public.

The highest profile vandalism case was the Michael Fay Incident in 1994. The American and a group of expatriate students were charged with vandalizing vehicles with hot tar, paint remover, red spray paint and hatchets. Some other cars had their tires slashed. The teens also removed road signs. Fay was eventually sentenced to four strokes of the cane, jailed for four months and fined SGD3,500 (US$2,800 at current exchange rates).

Graffiti on Block 85 Toa Payoh flat: How to properly report this news in S’pore
Right amounts of censorship will do the trick

On May 7, 2014, the third-year anniversary of the General Election 2011 where the ruling People’s Action Party lost a GRC for the first time, this happened:
Unvarnished reality: The exterior of Block 85 flat at Toa Payoh has been vandalised. Clearly, the vandal is not a ruling party supporter

How it was reported in the media?

STOMP: Excessive amount of censorship applied to protect PAP brand name. Treat PAP as a bad word as well. Censor the message at all cost.

Channel News Asia: Use the cropping technique

Today: Appropriate amount of censorship applied to convey restorative work is in process

How it should have been reported?

Best amount of censorship to protect PAP brand name: Selective censorship to show The PAP [LOVE SYMBOL] SG


Honestly speaking, I think our mainstream media is hopeless already. Their readership keeps dropping and their revenue also keeps dropping. The worse thing is they don't really know what is the main problem. Propaganda about the PAP and the media freedom ranking is the main problem. Every Singaporean also know that the Straits Times is not credible and all their news is just government propaganda. Unless they somehow show defiance to the PAP government or buy over the Alternative news website, I think their future doesn't look very bright for them.

Their lousy attempt at doing damage control of the hatred towards PAP will only make Singaporeans more angry at the PAP as well as distrusting the mainstream media even more.

Singaporeans have reached their boiling point.


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Mainstream Media: We are not your Sheeple!

This just shows that we citizens are still being flooded with Propaganda from these news sources. That’s the reason MDA didn’t shut STOMP down despite 23,000 people who signed the Petition to shut it down.It was heartening to see that 23,000 people gathered for a common cause, but I believe a lot more has to be done if we want change. Petitions may be a good first step, but they won’t do much. Petitions and Vandalism only help raise awareness, but for things to change we need to take action.

But what the Mainstream Media (MSM) doesn’t realize is that their efforts of censoring the truth are becoming increasingly futile. Most people I know, get their news from multiple sources of information. All these efforts to hide the truth are simply making them look foolish. The truth can’t never be hidden for long. Dear, MSM, we are no longer your Sheeple!

Look at the bigger picture, this isn’t about STOMP, this isn’t about SPH, this isn’t about the Newspapers or Vandalism Act, this is about the people in the power.

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Toa Payoh HDB Graffiti: Intriguing questions of how it happened

A red spray-paint graffiti with profanities targeted towards the People’s Action Party (PAP) was found on the rooftop of a 22-storey Housing Development Board (HDB) flat located in Toa Payoh yesterday. The Police were notified about the graffiti at 6.47am in the morning and the mess was quickly painted over by 11.30am.

The police have classified this case as “vandalism” and investigations are still ongoing. How did it happen?

One major question to ask regarding this incident is, “How exactly did it happen?” Could it be the work of tools, the fact that the previous person who opened the access left it unlocked or that the person who vandalised had the keys?

Vandalism at Toa Payoh HDB rooftop signals mounting public anger against PAP government

The Singapore Police Force reported that the roof level of a public housing apartment was broken into and vandalized on Tuesday morning. The roof level of Block 85A in the heartland of Toa Payoh in Singapore was spray painted with vulgarities directed against the ruling People’s Action Party (PAP). The police are investigating the case.

On the walls were the words, “Fuck the PAP”, “wake up SG”, “Singapore government can’t give us freedom”, as was the symbol for Anarchism. Full story

  1. Toa Payoh HDB Graffiti: Intriguing questions of how it happened
  2. Graffiti on Block 85 Toa Payoh flat: How to properly report this news in S’pore

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Rooftop graffiti: Mystery deepens after probe finds no security breach
Profanities were spotted at the rooftop of a HDB block at Toa Payoh on May 7, 2014. Photo: Ernest Chua

The mystery surrounding the graffiti found on Wednesday along the rooftop of a 22-storey Housing and Development Board (HDB) block deepened yesterday, after coordinating chairman for the People’s Action Party (PAP) Town Councils Teo Ho Pin said investigations by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council indicated there was no breach of security measures.

Profanities against the PAP and the police, as well as the symbol for anarchy, were found spray-painted in bright red along the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4. The lock to the roof access was intact.

No arrests have been announced so far and the police said they are investigating the case. Still, the incident has raised questions about how someone could have entered the area when access to HDB rooftops was supposed to have been tightened after a woman’s body was found in a rooftop water tank in 2011.



There is an ongoing online petition calling for the PM to resign initiated by a graduate taxi driver called William Lim. And now we have graffiti on the roof top of a flat at Toa Payoh, at Block 85A in Lorong 4 yesterday morning. The message, ‘Fuck the PAP’, ‘Wake Up’ and a sign of anarchy were painted on the side of the water tank, big enough for people on the streets to have a clear view of what it was.

The graffiti was discovered early in the morning and by noon it was erased leaving only some traces of redness on the wall. This is an affront to the govt and never been seen and done so boldly before. How did the person got himself to the roof top when the entrance was locked is still puzzling. 

How widespread is this sense of disobedience and what is the root cause to this trend? How much has it got to do with the displeasure on the govt’s policies on the huge influx of foreigners here, or is it just an odd case of an individual of unsound mind? The men in blue will be busy trying to find the culprit behind this graffiti.

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Let’s have a Democracy Wall

What turns an angry anti-social into a vandal? Frustration. An inability to channel anger into something useful. Is it significant that expletives against the PAP be spray-painted 22 storeys up on an HDB block? Not really — similar sentiments have been expressed online. What makes the Toa Payoh rooftop graffiti different is its location and size.

Such physical expression is a lot less sinister than computer hacking — but a lot more dramatic because of the simplicity of the expression. Calling on Singaporeans to stand up against the PAP is standard social fare in an erstwhile tightly-controlled political environment which the Internet has liberated.

There is a way, however, to channel anti-government hostility into a more constructive format — let’s have a Democracy Wall. But what if there are libellous postings? Who would police the postings? Civil rights advocates, for one. 

The point is, Singapore is noted for coming up with its own solutions to social problems.  We should be big enough to deal with such social hostility.

Writings On The Wall
The last time graffiti was used as an expression of public sentiments was when the outer walls of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF) headquarters at Kim Keat Road was redecorated one early morning in July 2005

The New Paper rushed down at about 6 am after a reader noticed the artwork and called their hotline. A wall of spray painting spelt out the messages in bold red, the words 'NKF=liar' written in English, and 'big liar' in Chinese. The word 'liar' was also repeated on every alternate pillar. The 'Hang Turi' was dedicated to the source of much unhappiness, NKF's CEO, T T Durai. A motorcyclist who was delivering newspapers was overheard uttering: "Now the whole world knows."

Nobody knows how the rooftop of Block 85A at Toa Payoh Lorong 4 was accessed since only authorised personnel can sign for the key, which is tightly controlled by the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council. Andrew Garfield was in town to promote Spiderman 2, but we can safely rule him out for a publicity run. He did play Eduardo Saverin in the Social Network movie, but Saverin is one foreign talent much welcomed by higher ups, thanks to the millions he brought along to our low tax and estate duty free regime.

Like the NKF message, the Toa Payoh literary effort was quickly painted over. Before any attempt to lift finger prints at the site or a close examination of the stylistic handwriting. The see no evil, hear no evil approach must save a lot of police paperwork. But a resident expressed concern  about the motivation, "People are now finding  different ways to express their feelings and unhappiness."

Roof of HDB block in Toa Payoh vandalised

The roof level of a 22-storey Housing and Development Board block was painted with graffiti containing vulgarities and criticism of a political party in an apparent case of vandalism.

Pictures of the graffiti were circulated on social media sites on Wednesday morning.

Police said they received a call at 6.47am requesting for assistance at Blk 85A, Toa Payoh Lorong 4.

Graffiti spotted at the top of 23-storey high HDB block in Toa Payoh

It was spotted more than 23-storeys high but the graffiti, spray painted in red on the service level at the top of an HDB block in Toa Payoh, was hard to miss.

People in the area were first drawn to the incident on Wednesday morning when a group of police officers were spotted at the foot of Block 85A Lorong 4 Toa Payoh attending to the case.

Photos of the graffiti, seemingly directed at the People's Action Party (PAP), quickly went viral after they were posted online.

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Omega Gang vs the Singapore government?

Omega gang or not, good luck to the vandals responsible for this series on graffiti in Singapore. Even if you are unhappy with the ruling government, I think there are better and more meaningful ways to channel your anger and frustration than to resort to this.

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The Rooftop Vandal

– Alvinology: Omega Gang vs the Singapore government?
– Everything Also Complain: Toa Payoh HDB rooftop vandalised by graffiti
– Limpeh Is Foreign Talent: Limpeh’s response to the Toa Payoh Graffiti incident
– Marry Thai Girl Singapore: Graffiti at Toa Payoh
– My Singapore News: Civil disobedience up a notch
– Singapore Notes: Writings On The Wall
– Rachel Zeng’s Blog: Graffiti, the Circle A, and hilarious censorship
– New Nation: Straits Times causes ‘PAP’ to become a vulgar word
– Mothership: Graffiti on Toa Payoh flat: How to properly report this news in Spore
– Asian Correspondent: Vandalism signal mounting public dissatisfaction in Spore
– TOC: Toa Payoh HDB Graffiti: Intriguing questions of how it happened
– The Independent, SG: Let’s have a Democracy Wall
– Dewdrop Notes 露语: Power, Weakness & Anarchy
– Likedatosocanmeh: LTA needs to learn from Bishan Toa Payoh Town Council
– Small steps for Social PR: The Straits Times Censors F Word & PAP
– Blood Stained Singapore: We condemn vandalism, not creativity