CASE OF THE HOUGANG BENG: WE SHOULD NOT JUDGE PEOPLE BY THEIR TATTOO

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Dear A.S.S,

I'd like to bring this article to the attention of every individual out there who was misled by the misleading heading of this article that comes from a mediocre and sub-par mainstream media platform. There're few points I'd like to highlight that once again displays the condescending attitude of the general public and readers that were extremely swift in their judgements.

According to the news, it was mentioned that and I quote 'the younger tattooed man' at the first sentence of the news. This is one of the less-obvious problems with the media platforms in current times. Is it a necessity to include the description of the victim? Is it of any relevance to this case whether or not, he is heavily tattooed or not? The appearance of the deceased, tattooed or not, is immaterial and unnecessary. I am disgusted and equally appalled at the insensitivity and condescending attitude of the contributor of this post.

It is no secret that Asians are stereotypical towards individuals who are 'inked', often linking tattooed men to crimes, negative social behaviours and often judged and seen as a 'bane' to the society. The unnecessary inclusion of the word, 'tattooed', gives birth to a negative impression that the deceased was the aggressor and by looking at the comments and responses to this article, I felt a strong sense of disgust and sympathy. I have seen displays of insensitivity and the lack of human touch with comments claiming that the victim deserves it. Some comments even mocked at the demise of the victim.

Are these the signs of a society that is moving forward according to time? I beg to differ. I sense that our society is moving backwards. Some comments even supported directly and or indirectly at the acts of the accused, claiming that his attack on the victim was justified and the victim deserved it.

What if the victim was a professional working class, a lawyer that was brutally attacked by the accused that is 'heavily tattooed'? Will the netizens respond in the same way like they did? I highly doubt so. The comments left by netizens regarding this article, clearly displays the condescending attitude and the judgemental nature of the general public. They are not entirely to be blamed. After all, the article was inaccurate and like what the article had mentioned in the paragraph, the investigations were ongoing however it is reasonable to conclude that the writer of this article wrote a inaccurate report and I was surprised at the fact that it was even
approved in the first place.

The editors of the 'All Singapore Stuff' should pay a closer attention to the quality of their writers and the accuracy of the content that they have written.

Let me rewrite this article in a neutral standpoint and one will realise that the usage or the omission of certain words might have changed the perspective of the general readers out there.

As a media platform, you do not generate publicity by including suggestive words to generate viewerships, knowing that the inclusive of negative, unnecessary and suggestive terms to hype up your report, drawing viewerships at the expense of the victim by capitalising on his appearance and making unwarranted accusations by calling the victim a 'HOUGANG BENG". Does someone with tattoos automatically qualifies himself as a "Ah Beng' and that he will amount to nothing else but a street hooligan?

I will add on an edited report by relying on the original report that I have shared below. Look at the power of words and how the usage and omission of certain words can change the perspective and judgements of 'ignorant' citizens that viewed tattooed men as 'banes of the society' and even supported the act of the accused.

I have tattoos on my body. I love body arts. Am I a 'YISHUN BENG'? ( since i reside in Yishun) I intern at a law firm under the tutelage of my mentor, M.Ravi, a renowned criminal law and human rights lawyer and Miss Violet Netto who is the owner of the firm. I help out offenders as when as possible and I do my best to ensure that they receive adequate legal assistance. I am not posting this for personal glorifications. This is a perfect example that tattooed men are not always the antagonists or the aggressors. One with adequate intellects should look beyond the inks on every tattooed man out there. Don't be stone throwers. Oh by the way, a friend/acquaintance of mine, a role model that I always look up to, had once clocked a substantial amount of hours handling pro-bono cases. He is tattooed. That doesn't make him a 'BENG' isn't it? Look beyond the skin of a man. Like the old cliche goes, 'True beauty is skin-deep.'

Shoutout to my tattooed friends whom are really nice people with a huge heart. All of you guys have been suffering under the stereotype of the society at large and have lived on with your lives helping the unfortunate ones without expecting any form of glorifications for your endeavours and all the help that you guys have rendered to the less fortunate in the society.

All Singapore Stuff should be ashamed. This article should be taken down with immediate effect.

Dylan Specter Cheng
A.S.S Contributor

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