There were happy incidents that happened at this street, but also some ugly ones. The happy one first. One day, I was eating at a fish porridge stall run by two sisters. The elder one was quite pretty; in fact, she received some marriage proposals from the port stevedores. But apparently, she was not quite ready, because I saw her operating her stall, busy serving her customers. After finishing my cuttle-fish porridge, and was about to pay her, she told me someone had already paid. I was surprised: “What someone already paid – who?” At that moment I saw a fat and short guy sneaking away opposite the stall, meanwhile giggling to himself ,“he-he.”. I told myself, isn’t that guy CTK. Later I confronted him: “Hey CTK, you are not supposed to pay for me!” He retorted: “I touched 4D, and I pay for you cannot ah!“ In other words he found great pleasure in surprising me rather than spending a dollar or two for the consumed porridge. This was the happy incident.
The unhappy incident happened this way. One morning, I saw an unlicensed Indian peddlar selling Mee Siam; the Indian peanut gravy type. He placed a table and a few chairs for his customers. The food was really good. After taking a few mouthfuls, I heard a commotion. A group of about five hefty guys, mostly Indians wearing uniforms, swept down the street. They were obviously from the Environment ministry, chasing after for illegal hawkers. I was caught in the midst of this mayhem. The poor Indian Mee Siam seller was caught flat-footed, rooted to the ground, with the uniformed guys taking away all his utensils. Worst, they chopped up his stall with axes and threw them wholesale onto a medium size truck. I felt disgusted, not only unable to finish the meal, but felt sorry for this hawker. Well I did not have much time to waste and proceeded to my workplace.
The second uglier incident occurred this way. After finishing my lunch, I wanted to exit out of Tian Lye Street. Suddenly, I saw a familiar looking detective whacking up a youngster aged twenty something. This huge detective fellow weighed something like 180 to 190 lbs, heavy weight category punched up a supposed to be criminal of say medium weight category. Worst of all, this supposed to be criminal was unarmed. Handcuffing him should be sufficient, not necessary for violence in broad daylight. I did not understand the need of this detective displaying his martial art skill like: punches, chops, neck-locks, knee to chest thrust on this victim of his. In the fifties I saw gang violence, and in the sixties witnessed this sickening spectacle unfolded right under a large PSA bill-board, advertising violence?
Sometime I wonder whether this police officer was trying to bring justice to the public, maintaining law and order, or trying to settle a personal score. The moral principle is that all human beings are given birth out of their mothers’ wombs and have lives. In short, all lives, particularly human lives, should be treated with respect and not abuse.
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