APRIL 3 — If viral videos are anything to go by, Singapore seems to be suffering from a wave of violence.
Recently several clips have surfaced showing citizens verbally attacking or fighting with each other.
Spectacularly, we saw a man in Buangkok armed with a sword slashing at cars and passersby. He was stopped by brave bystanders.
Then a 64-year-old man walking around Bendemeer road with a knife was shot dead by the police when he refused to give up the weapon and attacked the men trying to arrest him.
Another knife-wielding man was shot (non-lethally) when he attacked policemen at Clementi police station.
Less seriously this week a video of two older men, presumably neighbours, fighting and cursing each other through the gates of their apartments went viral.
Another showed a flare-up in a gym. And this is all in 2022.
Now statistically there isn’t any hard data to confirm an uptick in violence and perhaps we are seeing more because people these days have smartphones and TikTok but no matter the reason, violent incidents have become more visible.
Most of these incidents and attacks also don’t seem to be particularly premeditated; this doesn’t seem to be organised crime.
These people don’t seem to be trying to achieve anything — they just seem angry.
This, of course, is not just a Singapore problem. Last week, the world saw American actor Will Smith slap comedian and actor Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.
Smith was apparently responding to a joke made by Chris Rock which mentioned Smith’s wife.
It was a horrifying incident and honestly I am shocked every time I see someone defend his action as justified.
No matter what you feel about the joke, there is no reason to strike someone just for speaking.
Will Smith is a billionaire; he has made a fortune and has had a very successful career but that doesn’t put him above the expectations of a civil society.
There’s just no excuse. Even if he was truly offended he could have got up and walked out of the event.
But again globally whether it’s billionaire actors or uncles in Bedok everyone’s standards seem to be slipping.
Perhaps it is the pressure of years of pandemic restrictions or just the pressure of a world that is becoming increasingly expensive and competitive but we need to work out a way forward.
Life isn’t getting easier but it can get better.
*This is the personal opinion of the columnist.