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Allegories of Punishment: Tales of Crime and Precarity in Singapore

“Low crime doesn’t mean no crime.” This hackneyed slogan, plastered across public spaces, effectively captures the Singapore state’s attitude towards law enforcement. The dominant consensus, echoed across mainstream media and official narratives, views lawbreakers as threats to the greater good of society. Yet in 2016, two independent local films—”A Yellow Bird” and “Apprentice”—brought to the surface different views of society, crime and those who commit it.