Buangkok sword incident is latest addition in long line of stories exemplifying one united S’pore

Fadhil Yusop, the man who was caught swinging a sword at pedestrians and several cars, was charged on Mar 16 with a charge of voluntarily causing hurt with a samurai sword on Monday (Mar 14) at Buangkok Square mall.

The 37-year-old, who according to the Police consumed some pills before the incident, is accused of cutting Mr Kumarapeli Arachchige Amila Chinthana three times, which caused the victim to suffer cuts on his left arm and shoulder.

Thankfully, the accused slipped and Mr Chinthana managed to pin him down with the help of a few other bystanders. All six of them were presented the Public Spiritedness Awards from the police for their efforts.

Looking out for one another

At the award ceremony, the recipients of the awards spoke to the media and all put the safety of the community over their personal safety.

Mr Chinthana, whose wife is seven months pregnant, said: “If let’s say another old person is standing there, or if it’s children, or a pregnant woman, I thought about … if it happens to my family. When it comes to my mind I won’t think twice, because I’m thinking about other people’s safety.”

20-year-old Temasek Polytechnic student Mr Lim Jun Yi, who was waiting by the traffic light when the attack happened, was first to react.

He said: “As much as there was a risk involved, I didn’t really care about it, I didn’t really give much thought about it. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to make sure that he (Mr Chinthana) is safe and make sure that the guy doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

Another passerby who helped, Mr Muhammad Nur Rabbani Mohammad Zaini said: “It’s my own personal belief that everyone deserves to live in a safe environment. For example, these two gentlemen (Mr Chinthana and Mr Lim), they are someone’s son, someone’s husband, someone’s brother.”

One united Singapore

The Buangkok sword incident is just another incident in a long line of events that showcases the kind of cohesive society Singaporeans live in.

Take the case of a man who propositioned a 11-year-old girl for sex in 2020. Thankfully his plans were ultimately thwarted by a supermarket employee, who told the then 51-year-old to leave the victim alone. Shortly, the supermarket supervisor even walked the victim to the LRT station, instructing her to scream if the offender approached her again.

In Mar 2020, six Singapore Civil Defence Force officers from Kallang Fire Station who caught a man who had molested a female bus passenger.

Three men who restrained a man who was assaulting a bus captain in Sep 2020.

Or the 13 people who had come forward to prevent a lamp post from falling onto the road in Dec 2020.

And it’s not just about putting one’s safety on the line.

A Straits Times article reported on the biennial Singapore Public Sector Outcomes Review, which found that the Covid-19 pandemic “fostered a strong spirit of care, cohesion, and active citizenry in our society”, with people not just helping in national efforts but also starting their own initiatives.

There are of course many other examples to name but the point is this: People living in Singapore can always count on one another in this country to the right thing regardless of race or creed.

It’s a kind of social fabric that has been knitted and strengthened over the decades – one that wouldn’t be cut or sliced just by any sword.

Cover photo credit: CNA