Why the SKL0 incident goes beyond a mere ‘she did the crime, she does the time’.

So kancheong for what

  1. Based on the Vandalism Act, SKL0 has committed an “act of vandalism”.
  2. However, the Vandalism Act was introduced in 1966 and was last revised in the late ’80s.
  3. In the intervening years between then and now, notions of art and what constitutes art have evolved cf. Banksy
  4. The last time there was such an impassioned furore over the Act was when the Michael Fay incident occurred.
  5. But between Banksy and Fay, SKL0 is closer to Banksy than Fay i.e. her work is more artistic than it is damaging.
  6. (5) is not an arbitrary statement; it can be ascertained by any reasonably educated and intelligent woman or man on the street.
  7. For the State to rule that SKL0’s work is an “act of vandalism” because of the limits circumscribed by paragraph 2(a) of the Act will itself be an act of vandalism on Singapore society and culture.
  8. I say this because the ruling will mean that only the State and the State alone can sanction what is and what is not art – which, when extrapolated, means that the State has a monopoly over thoughts, ideas, creativity, etc.
  9. (8) is not acceptable for me. I hope it is not acceptable for anyone else either.

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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