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If you think I broke the law, why not call the police?

Friday, February 20, 2015

Have you ever been told that you are not allowed to take photos of the facade of a condominium? Well, it happened to me last evening.

I ate too much and decided to go for a walk to work off some calories in the evening. I walked past a condominium with a nice water feature at the entrance. I took out my phone to take a photo of the water feature and suddenly felt a strong beam of white light in my eyes.

Then, I heard someone shouting but I couldn't make out the words. I looked around and saw a fat, Indian lady wearing a security guard uniform in the guard house which was set probably about 20 meters from the entrance. She was shouting something at me and waving a strong light in my direction.

I cupped one of my ears and said loudly, "I can't hear you!"

She walked out of the guard house and came closer. I had the presence of mind not to walk towards her. I wouldn't want to be accused of trespassing on private property, after all. I remained standing on the public pavement. When she was closer to me, she spoke in an authoritative voice, "No photo taking of condo allowed!"

That gave me a shock largely because it was such an outlandish demand. I have never been stopped by anyone from taking photos of a building's facade in Singapore before. Anyway, I recovered quickly and asked her where was the sign to say photo taking was prohibited? She said there was no sign but she was telling me that I was not allowed to take photos.

I told her that the demand was unreasonable and that it would never stand in a court of law. If I felt like it, I could take as many photos as I liked. I was standing on public land taking photo of the condo's facade. I did not trespass on private property.

Then, she warned me that the condo CCTV was recording the encounter. That got to me and I told her that she could call the police, if she felt like it, since she obviously thought I did something wrong. I think she got a surprise when I said that. She challenged me to call the police instead, turned around and walked away.

怪事每年有, 今年特别多!

As I was walking away, I wondered what kind of MCST would issue such an order since I supposed the guards were following instructions? Maybe, I should call my realtor and arrange for a viewing of some of the units which have been put up for sale or rental. A quick check online revealed quite a few units available.

Would the guards stop me from taking photos of the grounds, the facade or even the guardhouse then? I wonder.

Related post:
Can't think of any... -.-"


EY said...

Hi AK,

不要跟她一般见识。 :)

Stay happy and have a meh-ry good year!

Ana said...

sometimes, the guards would do what they actually don't need to do... (like asking you not to take pictures).... but actually don't stop trespassers....

that was why at our tiny development, we eventually do away with guards by putting in auto-gates instead. not 100pc problem free...but certainly much better than having guards that are never there or sleeping, or doing things that are totally unnecessary!

E H said...

You should have recorded a video of the encounter. Or did you?

AK71 said...

Hi EY,

Yes, good advice, as always. ;)

Gong Xi Fa Cai! :D

AK71 said...

Hi Ana,

A friend who stays in a condo with mechanised gates activated with a remote control told me that they are not very reliable. They seem break down frequently. How is your experience with them?

Personally, my experience is that they open and close very slowly. I see quite a few condos in private housing enclaves with such gates. Can be a problem when there are two or three cars waiting to get in at the same time and I was caught in such a tail-back once before. -.-"

There isn't a perfect solution, I guess. So, what's new, right? :)

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Nope. I didn't even think of that. I was totally flummoxed. -.-"

E H said...

Nvm lah. With this experience, you will know what to do if it happens again.

Sillyinvestor said...


My feel is the same as your thoughts. The guard is just trying to do her job, although I think someone need to send her for some PR courses.

The "coc**ter" is the MSCT, who ask the guards to stop people from taking photos. Please la, you got an underground ammo base meh.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Again? I hope not. LOL. ;p

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

Yup. Exactly. I have taken photos of important government buildings and never had issues. My goodness, people even took photos of the Istana with the President and his missus to boot! ;p

Rebel said...

Security guards like to demand for your NRIC over the slightest imagined transgression.

Adults can defend themselves. But kids wouldn't know how to stand up for themselves. Remember to relate this incident to your niece.

AK71 said...

Hi Rebel,

Oh, I always have very original stories to tell my niece. Sometimes, I think of very nice titles for them too. ;)

I shall call this one "AK and the minions of an MCST". ;p

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