By Faris – December 17th, 2010
Is it the start of a worrying trend or are Singaporeans finally breaking the shackles of conformity and daring to be “different’?
This after Singapore police arrested a woman in her 50s for boarding a bus stark naked near Ubi Avenue on Wednesday evening, the third such case of a “nude” arrest this month.
Last Sunday, a naked man in his 20s or 30s was arrested after trying to order coffee in the buff from a 24-hour McDonald’s outlet along Queensway.
Earlier this month, a heavily tattooed man in his 40s sat naked for hours near an HDB block in Ang Mo Kio. He was later arrested after several warnings.
Psychologist, Mr Daniel Koh, 39, who owns Insights Mind Centre, told Yahoo! SEA, “Some of them might be attention seekers or would like to be the focal point of news while others might actually be crying out for help.”
“In the case of the latter, authorities should step in and such people should be reviewed, ” he said.
Mr Koh added that there are also those who do it out of sexual gratification or to arouse themselves.
In the latest case, the elderly woman who boarded the bus naked was initially dressed in a black blouse and pants. According to eyewitnesses, she later started to strip down by the roadside in full view of passers-by.
Oblivious to the stares by members of the public, the woman folded her clothes into a neat pile and put them in a plastic bag which she later placed on the pavement.
She then walked towards a bus stop in front of Block 302, Ubi Avenue 1, and stood a few metres away from the shelter, even though it was drizzling slightly.
Madam Huay who witnessed the incident said in Mandarin to The New Paper, “When she continued stripping, I felt more and more nervous. She was stark naked in front of peak-hour traffic. There were about 100 people staring at her.”
One of them, Mr Lim Fam Meng, a barber in his 50s said in Mandarin, “I was scared silly, but it was also an interesting sight. All of us who were in the shops came out. Passers-by also stopped to gawk.”
When bus service 22 arrived, she boarded the bus and sat in the back row. However, the bus did not move off and when she refused to budge or even accept a jacket to cover her modesty, passengers were told to sit at the front of the bus and women to the back, where they could help shield her.
Passengers were eventually transferred to a second bus service 22 that arrived later.
It was only when two police officers arrived and made her wear a yellow raincoat that she complied and left with them in a police car. She was later found to be of unsound mind.
The incident is the latest in a string of recent cases involving people appearing nude in public. In the first six months of the year, there have already been 105 such incidents — one about every other day.
It is understood that those arrested and who are believed to be mentally unsound are usually referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) for psychiatric review.
Dr Koh has also advised members of public to be cautious when confronted with such people.
While it is important for males not to go near them for fear of being accused of molest, he said whoever is around should determine whether the naked man or woman is in a rational mood.
“They should just monitor the situation because such people might act defensive and be aggressive towards whoever approaches them. In this case it is best to leave them alone and leave it to the authorities,” he added.
Those found guilty of being nude in public, or in a private location, but visible to those outside, faces a fine of up to $2,000 and up to three months in jail.
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