Singapore buskers are really bad

Our beggars squawk. Therefore in this clean city of ours we have no beggars. We have buskers. Full essay.

11 Responses to “Singapore buskers are really bad”


  1. 1 Leanna 26 September 2009 at 22:48

    I have some sympathy for Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged in which she made the exact same point (but in thousands upon thousands of words, arrgh).

    • 2 gerard lim 31 August 2010 at 10:30

      i am running a pub now and i wish to hire some good underprivileged or handicapped buskers who can play good music. the least i could do for them is allow them to display their talents in a more conducive environment and still get sufficient renumeration for their efforts.

      so, if anyone can help get in contact with any such buskers or direct to any site where i can procure a list of registered buskers, then i can initiate the process of hiring.

      gerard

      • 3 Hillary 6 October 2010 at 19:51

        hey there’s one at lucky plaza tunnel. I intend to do a profile on him. his name is peter lim 82451849

    • 4 gerard lim 31 August 2010 at 10:33

      i am running a pub now and i wish to hire some good underprivileged or handicapped buskers who can play good music. the least i could do for them is allow them to display their talents in a more conducive environment and still get sufficient renumeration for their efforts.

      so, if anyone can help get in contact with any such buskers or direct me to any site where i can procure a list of registered buskers, then i can initiate the process of hiring.

      my contact no 90024420 or email at gerardlwk@hotmail.com

      gerard

      • 5 theresa 15 September 2010 at 18:09

        Gerard

        – There is one at the Novena underpass in the mornings who is brilliant. He does his own rendition of it and the song takes on a life of its own. His voice really uplifts – It’s just his voice and his guitar, and it fills the whole place. I’ve been wondering how to get him to be heard by more people and happened across your post.

        He’s not to be confused with another older busker who’s often there, who sings Christian songs and uses an amp.

        This guy is not there everyday though. I’ll try and catch him and pass him your contact. thank you for your efforts

  2. 6 psa91 27 September 2009 at 00:07

    Got two conservative christians buskers in the underpass at Toa Payoh MRT singing very old Christian songs totally out of tune and without much voice. One of them also have Christian tracks.

    One plays the guiter, and another the pipe/recorder.

    There is another one in the Novena underpass, much better.

  3. 7 dyno 27 September 2009 at 13:41

    The “In this respect, we really are a Third World city.” at the end of the essay is very true. But it’s not only in this respect that we are still “third world”. As difficult as it is to build up and maintain a physical infrastructure, it’s even more difficult to change the mindset of the people.

  4. 8 Sun Koh 28 September 2009 at 10:21

    Other than GDP and infrastructure, I wonder if there is anything else in Singapore that belongs to the first world… We are perhaps first world at being an empty shell, food, and maybe mathematics. Gotta give credit where it’s due.

  5. 9 Jun Z.P 29 September 2009 at 11:21

    I have to defend the NAC here, in that they held stringent auditions, and did refused my singer-friend a permit. Now she’s off to release an album, albeit a list of Christian songs. She is donating the earnings to charity. So these street buskers are licenced not by NAC but by another ministry perhaps MCYS, because they are disabled. Instead of merely begging, they are providing entertainment, like the blind musician in Orchard Road tunnel.

    Otherwise, if you are referring to those Chinese singers singing old Chinese folktunes with mike and speakers, then I don’t think they are not licenced as buskers by NAC. I closed an eye on politics, because such artform has vanished from the streets of Singapore. Artistic quality is second to authentic heritage.

    Yesterday, I was shock to see a white deaf person peddling on the street at Pasir Ris MRT station. I thought the Singaporean authorities imported foreigners to work for our economy. Now, how did they allow a foreign disabled beggar into the country? Obviously, what she is doing is illegal, when she couldn’t show me an authorised licence. I gave her a strict warning before she hopped off to the next township.

  6. 10 Tanny 1 October 2009 at 14:47

    I was once humiliatingly chased after on an L.A. street by a waiter to whom I’d ignorantly failed to leave a 20 percent tip (has this increased?) after a meal. It being my first trip to the U.S., I was unaware of the mandatory-except-in-name tip, and his service was unexceptional in any case.

    The standards of service in the U.S. are relatively higher than in Singapore, arguably because there is a direct reward for effort in the form of some unspoken, culturally-expected tip. On the other hand, as with my waiter, it can just as well become an expected handout with or without a corresponding levels of service. Point being, the expectation of a monetary return on services rendered should not preclude nor exclude a good quality of service.

    But back to beggars/buskers. Assuming that buskers in Singapore are indeed merely no more than beggars. By definition, that will require them only to look sad for a ‘reward,’ giving us the moral highground to bestow upon them some charity. But if by throwing in some singing or music, however laughable, the ‘beggars’ are trying to elevate themselves somewhat to equal status by offering a product in exchange for our charity, thus turning it into an exchange, why deny them? I don’t think throwing a few coins will turn them into Pavlov’s dog and habituate them to providing Bad Entertainment forever in exchange for reward. Why, won’t this actually help motivate them to perhaps look at themselves less as beggars and more as a (marginally) more respected busker, and perhaps give them that impetus to improve their craft, so to speak? Perhaps, horrors, possibly turning them into a BUSKER. Won’t this somewhat contribute too to turning around the ‘dismal lack of culture’ in the country?

  7. 11 Tipping in US 1 October 2009 at 18:40

    In response to Tanny, an American waiter friend once explained to me why he tipped 30% when eating out himself. In the US the waiters’ tips are often their only income, not actually receiving a salary (nor health insurance)from the restaurant; on top of this they are taxed on what tips they are expected to have earned, so their payslip from the restaurant can actually be for a negative amount.

    He told me a similar story to yours of a colleague chasing after a customer and throwing the tip back at him as it was too small.


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