The title of this post reminds me of a song by Pink. Personally I think it's one of her better songs. Her song “Dear Mr President” was directed at then President of the United States of America, George W. Bush. In her song, she questioned George Bush on a number of issues and in my post, I will question your views on tattoos. Sadly, I don't agree with anything you said in pages 386 and 387 of your latest book 'Hard Truths'.
They say the truth is hard to swallow but those two pages I highlighted does not contain the truth. It's far from it! Quite frankly, I think you are a little out of touch. I would expect the old men that sit under their blocks to have that mindset. But not from a man that is well travelled like yourself. I love you for everything you have done for this country. I honestly do. We will not be where we are today if not for you. That's a true fact and I am sure you know that.
When you were asked about the local tattoo community trying to get tattoos accepted as an art, you said that you are very strongly against it. You even rang MICA (Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts) to tell the press not to be stupid by promoting tattoos. You mentioned as well that no decent man or woman has a tattoo.
When I first approached the media about the previous web television show I did last year, I was not prepared to be turned down by each and every one of them. On hindsight, I should have taken the Singapore Tattoo Show 2010 as an example. As far as I know, nobody from the local print and television media promoted the show. At the press conference for the convention at Zouk, the ChannelNewsAsia van stayed parked outside the venue because they needed approval from some person that didn't want to break the 'rules'.
I have many friends that are tattooed. I should add that all of them are decent individuals. They work extremely hard in life and the majority of these folks are the nicest people walking god's given earth. I have met tons of tattooed Singaporeans as well. Some of these people are doctors, policemen, lawyers, teachers, pilots, hawkers, nurses, salesmen, musicians, animal keepers, actors, etc. To sum it up, tattooed Singaporeans that are not only decent, but Singaporeans that call this country home. You might find this hard to believe but it is the truth.
Then there are the artists that are the driving force of our tattoo industry. These men and women work extremely hard at what they do! They provide spectacular art to thousands of Singaporeans and tourists each year. We have artists (Singapore born nationals) that have won awards at renowned conventions all over the world. I personally think that instead of a front page article of some minister planting a tree or some foreigner winning us a gold medal, these artists should have been on that page. It's for one simple reason. They are Singaporeans and they have put this country on the map! Is that not worth a mention somewhere?!
I have questions which I'm sure will never be answered. Like how do we call ourselves a modern country when the man controlling Singapore is still stuck in the past? Or why a country that has so many laws and regulations does not have a law that prohibits anyone under the age of say 18 from getting a tattoo when that will help the tattoo industry.
Iwill always be proud to be a Singaporean. I do wish things were a little different in Singapore. The thing is, only you have the power to change that. Everyone else seems to be afraid of you. Yes, including your son Loong. A simple phone call to MICA would be a good start. As a man that loves the art and the industry, I hope you will one day change your mind. That's all I have. HOPE!