Perhaps a good phrase to sum up the state of Singapore’s highly restricted right to speak freely is, “I have no mouth, and I must scream”.
Welp, here’s an event that, if approved by the authorities, will let you do just that together with hundreds of other interested folks. Screaming, that is, not protesting.
Visakan Veerasamy, writer and co-founder of local apparel line Statement, thought that it’d be a great idea to hold a public event at Speakers’ Corner on Apr. 21, where everyone is invited to howl/scream/shriek/holler/screech/shout for a few minutes in unison.
It’s possible that Visakan was inspired by primal therapy or the Flogsta roar, but what’s for sure is that there’s no particular partisan reason for the event, despite the politically-charged venue. “We are not screaming in support of (or in protest against) anything,” he wrote in the Facebook event page’s description.
“We are just screaming.”
Though nothing has been confirmed for now, Visakan has apparently even applied for a “police permit”, even though only non-Singapore citizens need to apply for it to engage in public speaking at Speakers’ Corner.
But if he is serious about the event and if “Anguished tormented screaming [Group Activity]” does go ahead as planned, what a great catch-all undertaking for everyone to howl and bellow about whatever they’re upset about. Be it an insufferable boss, the incoming GST hike, living in Yishun, or the fact that Lady Bird got snubbed at the Oscars.
Update: The event is a go! A police permit was not needed after all — so long as everyone yells in a socially responsible manner.
Editor’s Note: Article updated to reflect that yes, you can scream collectively in a group without the permission of the authorities.