As the suspect of the Kovan double murder was charged on Monday, the case has created a crack in Singapore’s utopian surface. But the question is, how deep is this crack?
Last Wednesday, at 4:30 pm the body of 42- year old Tan Chee Heong was found outside Kovan MRT station one kilometre away from the house in which he and his father were both murdered.
The suspect, ironically enough, was a policemen, Iskandar bin Rahmat, who had even been quoted as “the pride of Bedok North Neighbourhood Police Centre” on the Singapore Police Force (SPF) website.
For a country which prides itself on its standard of living, especially its low crime rate, this case is more than just a gory murder as it threatens the very basis on which Singapore has grown and prospered.
It can be argued that the Kovan murder is just one case, but only last month a national serviceman was slashed at Orchard Cineleisure and left bleeding.
While this is alarming, we should also remember that everything is relative. According to a study done by the United Nations investigating murder rates worldwide in recent years, Singapore has a rate of 0.5 murders per 100,000 whereas countries like Malaysia and Indonesia have rates of 2.3 and 8.1 respectively.
So yes Singapore is relatively very safe, but the struggle now is to maintain the harmony. One way this can be achieved is through stronger law enforcement.
However the addition of police officers and CCTV cameras, for example, may prove to be quick-fixes to a much deeper problem.
In other words, the rise in crime and growth of gang culture could perhaps reflect resentment amongst Singaporeans. This kind of violence is an extreme result of frustration and anger. It highlights a sense of rebellion amongst Singaporeans, especially Singapore’s youth — making you wonder: what next?
Image: Straits Times