November 4, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — theinkhorn @ 1:04 pm

No one really takes gang violence in Singapore seriously. After all, we are denied the right to bear arms, and the ominous presence of the mandatory death penalty awaits anyone who even dares to consider fatally injuring another person. Stir into the mix the long running american reality series COPS, as well as several documentaries and TV shows depicting gang violence on foreign shores and you have for yourselves a dangerous end product. Complacency, the assumption that no one could harm you here. At least while you’re allowed the freedom to lose yourself in a sea of people. Yet this boy, Darren Ng, for some reason, fell victim to a crime you hardly ever see reported on the mainstream media anymore. Hacked to death as many watched helplessly, his life was cut short with the sort of brutality we’ve grown accustomed to not seeing. As deeply saddening as it is, the situation begs for an answer. Not why. Not how. But who? Who were his attackers? Not their names. Not their addresses or phone numbers. Their existential identities. Who was Darren? And finally, who are we?

Who are they? A mindless, vicious pack of murderers whose only intent was to eliminate another from the gene pool? Young men caught in the heat of the moment, losing their heads and succumbing to the anger in their hearts? Or simply youths without an identity, desperately seeking approval from whomever they consider inspirations and respected authority figures?

Who was he, Darren Ng? A sweet, innocent boy who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time? A child of similar mold, bent on inciting rage through trivial acts of provocation. Or simply a product of our system, indifferent and apathetic, suffering similar delusions of invincibility as his assailants?

And who are we really? For this one there are no additional questions. We are a nation of forgotten passions and dreams tossed aside. A state in perpetual disarray and never-ending disputes cowering behind the camouflage of white that promotes the idea of racial and religious harmony as a law, not a virtue. A land that has been educated by an arrogant and incredibly flawed system that has failed over and over again in more areas than should be allowed.

And now, the four boys face the mandatory death sentence. One death compensated by four more. Darren’s family and friends struggle with their grief, and initiate tussles with the Razor TV staff, whom i refuse to acknowledge as the media because the truth is I’d rather be bound to a chair and forced to watched Glenn Beck blowing Bill O’Reilly (which, now that I think about it, happens every friday) than to watch a bunch of self-indulgent journalist wannabes stroll around playing reporter. And yet the world continues spinning. Anti death penalty campaigners have fallen strangely silent over the subject, which is really of no surprise to me. After mostly campaigning for drug traffickers, it would come across as sudden to have to decide whether murderers get one more shot. If I’ve pre-maturely insinuated anything, you have my apologies.

But, with all due respect to those left behind by Darren Ng, the closure you believe you will receive from the deaths of his assailants will not arrive. The damage has been done, and all you can really do is ensure that no further harm is caused, that no more blood has to be shed. I don’t pretend to understand a loss this tragic and savage, but I do understand losses. An eye for an eye leaves everybody blind.

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