A Singaporean artist under investigation for allegedly vandalising public roads saw more than 11,000 Internet users Wednesday petitioning online for police leniency.
Police declined to identify the 25-year-old woman arrested, but said she faced a maximum three-year jail term and a fine of up to Sg$2,000 ($1,500) if convicted of offences alleged to have taken place in May.
A police statement said the woman, dubbed “Sticker Lady” by the local media, is alleged to have painted “MY GRANDFATHER ROAD” on several streets in the city-state which has a reputation as being among the cleanest in Asia.
She is also alleged to have pasted captioned stickers on traffic lights, pavements and pedestrian crossings, police said.
“The case is classified as vandalism,” police said in the statement, adding that offenders would be dealt with severely.
Singapore has strict laws on vandalism but the “Sticker Lady” case has sparked uproar on the Internet, with many feeling the artist, identified as Samantha Lo in local media, was simply expressing creativity and should be treated with leniency.
“It’s uniquely Singaporean. The government should be glad that someone is being creative and doing something with our culture,” Zachary Rahmat posted on the petition site.
Another supporter, Denise L, also called for leniency, writing: “It had brought so many smiles to whoever came across her harmless intentions. Let her go.”
Jeremy Sharma, a Singaporean artist, said there were laws in Singapore against acts of vandalism but told AFP he hoped there would be leniency in this particular case.
“Singapore has laws on these so you do it at your own risk but there are artists who are recognised on such works overseas,” he said, adding that “what she did had artistic merit”.
American teenager Michael Fay garnered global headlines in 1994 when he was jailed and caned in Singapore after he was found guilty of vandalising several cars. Fay was caned despite a US appeal for clemency.
In 2010 a Swiss man was jailed and caned for vandalising a Singapore metro train.