Coronavirus Updates

Dear Singapore, what now after pointing fingers?

by Christina Wong // July 17, 2021, 3:53 pm

KTV cluster singapore

I’ve got to admit, my first response to hearing about the growing KTV cluster was one of anger and disappointment.

You know, it’s the feeling you get in primary school when you can’t be dismissed on time because a few naughty classmates just simply refuse to cooperate. Urghhh.

But after a whole evening of non-stop breaking news, which included a re-introduction of tightened measures, I sat in front of my TV and wondered: “Is anger all there is to feel about this?”

The anger we’re seeing today is a different kind of anger.

The KTV cluster hits close to home because one of the nightlife venues linked to the cluster is situated right beside my church. On the many nights over the years I’ve spent at church for ministry events and worship rehearsals, visitors to the KTV lounge next door were no strangers.

I’ve shared the lifts and walked the same corridors with them, and honestly I’ve always just tried to keep my distance. Certain vices and illegal activities might have been literally happening in my backyard, but I’ve always just chosen to close both eyes to them – out of my own fear.

Needless to say, whatever those people have done illegally is not to be excused. The blatant flouting of rules and regulations, and even the abusing of grace extended to continue running as F&B businesses, is very disappointing to hear. Very disappointing might even be an understatement.

What does “do not judge” really mean?

The anger we’re seeing today is a different kind of anger.

It’s not merely about a nation being angry about not being able to eat out in larger groups. It’s not just about a nation being angry about a new cluster. This anger is multi-faceted.

The fallenness and lawlessness of humans have been brought to light: illegal sexual services, shady business ethics, infidelity of spouses, promiscuity of man, exploitation of vulnerable women…

The list goes on, and this is what’s making people so mad.

Perhaps we are blameless in the eyes of the law, but are we blameless in other areas of our lives?

But last night, after I tried to put aside my sian-ness… I thought about the fear of those related to the KTV cluster. Maybe I’ve even crossed paths with them before in our church corridor or at the lift lobby (in pre-COVID days, of course).

I imagine the fear that some of them might be feeling right now.

Fear of testing positive for the virus. Fear of unknowingly transmitting the virus to people around them. Fear of being found out by their family and friends. Fear of having their identity exposed and facing the vitriol of angry netizens. Fear of their future.

When everything about the virus is said and done, how are they going to mend broken relationships? How are they going to deal with the trauma and hurt of their families? How is that satay guy going to go back to work after his photos have been circulated everywhere?

Are you a fear superspreader?

For whatever they’ve done in secret, there are long-lasting consequences to deal with.

And even as we gloat over their crimes being exposed and having our anger vicariously expressed through memes, jokes and mass-forwarded WhatsApp messages, we have to remember that we ourselves are not as blameless as we might think.

Perhaps we are blameless in the eyes of the law, but are we blameless in other areas of our lives?

Why do we keep things a secret? Because of fear.

The human condition causes us to view our secret sins this way: If I don’t say anything, no one will know. If no one knows, nothing will happen. And lucky for us, our secrets don’t culminate in a new mega cluster in the midst of a public health crisis.

Why do we keep things a secret? Because of fear. Fear of being caught, of being judged, of being condemned, of the consequences we have to deal with.

But there is nothing beyond the reach and sight of God. He knows everything. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight (Hebrews 4:13).

And in His timing, the darkest and most secretive areas of our lives will be brought to light. No one is exempt.

The secrets we hide, and an all-seeing God

Our personal failings and secret sins may leave us in shame and guilt, but one thing is for sure: We can all hold on to the truth that God is a God of mercy and grace.

“But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:7-9)

As we have been given the invitation from God to come out of hiding — to stand before God in humility without fear, to face one another vulnerably in complete honesty, and to live life without any of the secrets that would bind and entangle us — let us extend that same grace to those related to the cluster to un-hide themselves.

Let’s give them the courage to step forward to be tested and to take ownership for their actions responsibly.

While we’re at it, let’s also pray for God’s redemptive purposes in this situation.

Dear God,

We know that You are sovereign over all, and that You are a God of justice and mercy. We surrender the situation to you and know that You are in control.

We pray that even as certain vices and wrongdoings are being brought to light, You will bring about restoration and healing to all parties involved.

Bring physical healing to those who have been infected, and emotional healing to those who have been traumatised or hurt by their trusted family members. We ask that You be close to those who are hurting and those who are anxious and scared.

Even as illegal activities are being surfaced, we pray that we will not just point fingers in condemnation, but instead feel a burden for these issues and the people involved.

Show us the cracks in our society that we have turned a blind eye to. Break our hearts for what breaks Yours.

Lord, help us to see what we cannot yet see beyond our anger and disappointment. Forgive us for our inconsiderate responses and mean-spirited remarks.

Help us to respond to this situation with the same grace and kindness that You have shown us.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

THINK + TALK

  1. Have you gone to God in prayer after reading about the growing nightlife cluster?
  2. Have you paused to grieve the sin of man? Allow the Lord to examine your heart too, as you come before Him in repentance.
  3. Are your words and actions filled with grace and kindness?
About the author

Christina Wong

Christina is a designer who used to memorise Pantone swatches. Her last cup of bubble tea was in November 2018.