Just got this off the press. This is really horrid, but I guess, to a certain extent, it woke me up quite a bit. I was reading about the Japanese photo-journalist who got killed this morning and I thought to myself that it would not happen to a Singaporean, much less, me. Perhaps I am being self-centered, and think that “Singaporeans are the exception”. But reading this article somehow got me thinking otherwise.

I remembered I was in Bangkok once when a coup came about. I was on the bus and watching the soldiers by the streets, thinking “how fun!”. The idea of being captured, raped, robbed, punched and killed never go to me because I thought that being a Singaporean, I come from a neutral perspective and nothing will happen to me. How wrong I was… because I realised that I forgot to print “Singaporean” on my forehead. Moreover, in times of unrest, everyone is the enemy.

Now I am thinking twice about visiting the DMZ in Korea. Perhaps it may sometimes be a good idea to stay out of trouble’s sight, unless, of course, I am really tired of living. Of course, this incident also reminds me that the peacetime we have in Singapore is, well, sometimes taken for granted.

We are just as vulnerable as anyone else out there.

Straitstimes.com article:

A SINGAPOREAN working in Yangon said he was shot in the legs and kicked by anti-riot police while he and his wife were on their way to the office on Thursday. The man, who did not want to be named for safety reasons, emailed The Straits Times’ online interactive portal (Stomp) for citizen journalism about the shooting incident, and also sent photographs showing the injuries he sustained during the security crackdown, in which nine people were killed, including a Japanese photographer.

He gave this account in his email to Stomp: ‘I was on my way to the office when the riot police block the road. I stopped my car with my wife and walked out.

‘Suddenly, riot police and soldiers drove the truck around the corner and started firing shots at the crowd.

‘We quickly ran to the side and squat down.

‘The soldiers came down and started to shoot at us. I was shot twice but I did not know what hit me.

‘Both my legs were bruised. The soldiers and police kicked us and the rest of the crowds into the drain and shouted that they would kill us if we look at them.

‘We were forced to stay in the drain for 15mins. I looked at my injuries and found the ’40mm riot control munnition’.

‘We are just ordinary citizens going to work and they just shot at us for no reason.’

On Wednesday, Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also advised Singaporeans travelling to Myanmar to register with the Foreign Ministry through its website and to closely monitor media reports on the situation there.

Singaporeans in Myanmar should also take the necessary precautions for their personal safety, including remaining in a safe location and avoiding areas where there may be trouble, the ministry advised.

Some images below may not be suitable for all audiences.  Standard disclaimer and copyrights to respective owners apply.

Picture of Singapore who was shot in Myanmar
‘The soldiers and police kicked us and the rest of the crowds into the drain and shouted that they would kill us if we look at them,’ the man said. — PHOTO: STOMP

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