You know something’s wrong when Singaporeans grafitti a wall to try and resolve a problem. This wall should actually be a tourist attraction as it’s probably the only illegally grafittied wall in Singapore. And it’s been like this for months and months now. And you all thought Singapore was so clean you could eat your dinner off of it. Now you know.
So this Great Graffitied Wall of Singapore is on Sinaran Drive right beside Tan Tock Seng Hospital. The wall is, most likely, owned by 27Mr Pte Ltd. who are wayyyyy behind on building their proposed Moulmein27 apartment block in the plot of land behind the wall. The former building behind there, the Grand Tower (it wasn’t grand and wasn’t exactly towering) was demolished years ago and the plot is an empty but grassy and flowery rare bit of open space in the Novena area.
A few weeks ago the paint job was fading in the Singapore sun so somebody happily gave the lettering a second coat. That’s how long term this situation is.
So what’s the issue? People are using the footpath and wall area as a place to smoke themselves stupid away from the neighbouring Tan Tock Seng Hospital. It’s annoying and passers-by have to inhale clouds of smoke they didn’t pay or wish for. People then proceed to throw butts on the ground and other remnants of their various vices. People sit under the grafitti, puffing away in a cancerous affront to the informal monetary warning. And what of TTSH? Can’t they provide their workers (and cancer patients) with an out-of-the-way smoking area far from innocent sidewalk shufflers’ lungs? It doesn’t appear so…
Are there other alternatives to removing the smokers’ rest area?
- spikes, lots of them
- smoke sensors that blast “Cotton Eyed Joe” when set off
- dogs trained to attack on the sound of a cigarette lighter or match being struck.
- water cannons, lots of them
- introduce monkeys to the area
- allow those licensed buskers who are usually in the MRT tunnels to set up shop there
- place a durian stall there
In summary then, we have two warring factions; the smokers and the grafitti-ers. I’m with the grafitti-ers in heart and mind as the smokers are uncaring of others in their upkeep of their killsome addiction. On the other hand, the grafitti sucks to look at. At least add a bit of artistic flair to it. Draw a troll-esque smoker with 500 cigarettes in its mouth going all cross-eyed or draw a big arrow pointing down to where the people usually sit smoking and label it “MORONS”. I guess you can say stylistically I’m not with the grafitti-ers and they need some pointers on protest art.
I’m just left to wonder how will this pan out? If ever? Who will take charge of the multi-layered issues? TTSH and a Moses-esque migration of its smoking populace? Or 27Mr with a couple of sledgehammers?
In the meantime head on down to Sinaran Drive and take a few selfies with a real-life and authentic graffitied wall right here in Singapore!