If a night of wanton, government-sanctioned violence is your idea of fun, you’d agree that Purge Night is, as what one of the characters in The Purge: Election Year says: “Halloween for adults.” Initiated in the United States in the late 2010s following an economic collapse, the purge is a national civic tradition whereby anyone is free to hurt or kill anyone for one night. For 12 hours from 7 pm on March 21 to 7 am on the next day, all crime is legal and police, fire and medical emergency services are unavailable.

The “New Founding Fathers of America” use it as a way to artificially control the American population and lessen the burden on society, as the homeless, disabled, mentally ill, uneducated and those living in slums are the usual targets of lawlessness. The only restrictions: Government officials ranking 10 and up have immunity (this is revoked in this year’s instalment of The Purge franchise) and weapons above Class 4 (grenades, bazookas and rocket launchers) are prohibited.

While others may have written survival guides for this entirely fictitious construct, over here at Singapore-based The Popping Post we are hard-pressed for ideas on how Purge Night would work in the world’s second-safest city (Tokyo is ranked first). Therefore, we present a few reasons why Purge Night won’t be fun in Singapore:

1. What weapons?

Assault weapons. (Credit: cpreview.org)

Assault weapons. (Credit: cpreview.org)

The Purge rules allow the use of weapons below Class 4 – i.e. rifles, handguns, machine guns. But this is a moot point in squeaky clean Singapore, where the man on the street doesn’t dream of possessing firearms because, well, they aren’t available! Singapore has some of the toughest gun control laws in the world. According to the Arms Offences Act, unlawful possession of firearms or carrying of firearms is punishable by caning or imprisonment.

So, unless you have some way of magicking ammunition across the border within those 12 hours during Purge Night, you’ll have to resign yourself to using whatever the Ninja Turtles use, or go old school with knives and pillows. Either way, you’d have exhausted plenty of time getting your hands on the guns or plenty of energy suffocating your spouse in bed, and you’d be glad to call it a night long before 7 am.

2. Kiasi-ism (Hokkien for “fear of death”)

This poster says everything. (Credit: mothership.sg)

This poster says everything. (Credit: mothership.sg)

Singaporeans are literally afraid to die. So, unlike festive scenes from the movie franchise where you’ll see foolhardy teenagers and angry vagabonds tearing up the streets while dressed in wacky costumes, Singapore is likely to be very, very quiet on Purge Night. Most people would have the common sense to simply lock themselves up in their homes, close the windows, switch on the air-conditioner and put on a DVD, instead of going on a rampage. For those who prefer to play it super safe, it’s easy to pretend that you’re not at home, too. You just have to try not using any electricity in case your potential murderer checks your electrical meter for signs of your presence. Your only challenge in this case would be the hot weather, but would you rather be killed or simply endure 12 hours without fan or air-con? Kiasi-ism answers the question for you, doesn’t it?

3. It’s too easy to leave

Anyone would rather be here... (Credit: anaya.com.sg)

Anyone would rather be here… (Credit: anaya.com.sg)

The best way to avoid Purge Night is to simply not be here, just like how we go on vacation during Chinese New Year to avoid nosy relatives. Right? I’m sure you’ve noticed how quiet it is downtown during the CNY long weekend. That’s because most people aren’t even here at all. Our resident population probably drops by about 50 per cent every long weekend. What more Purge Night?

Singapore is not known as a transport hub for nothing. If you can’t get a flight out, you can always drive, or for those who can’t afford it, walk across the Causeway. (Where it’s probably more unsafe than regular Singapore, by the way.) You can also take a boat to nearby Bintan or Batam and enjoy a lovely sunset on the beach while Purge Night commences in Singapore. You’ll be so safe, it’s almost boring.

4. Hard to get hallucinatory drugs

Weed. (Credit: www.drugabuse.gov)

Weed has been legalised in some states in the US, but is prohibited in Singapore. (Credit: www.drugabuse.gov)

Saw the previous point about purgers dressed up like wackos and going on killing sprees? How does one work himself or herself into such an irrational frenzy? It’s anybody’s guess that they’re probably high on something. Well, you might have heard that Singapore hangs drug traffickers, which makes it notoriously difficult for one to get hold of recreational party drugs. You’d have to be either insane or terribly angry to work up the rage required for Purge Night. Otherwise, you’d just be hiding, or on a beach in Bintan… See a pattern here?

5. Everybody is a grassroots leader

Remember this particular grassroots leader? (Credit: The Straits Times)

Remember this particular grassroots leader? (Credit: The Straits Times)

Considering that grassroots leaders get lots of privileges in Singapore, such as better chances of getting their kids into their primary school of choice and priority for Housing Board flat applications, I wouldn’t be surprised if grassroots leaders are granted immunity on Purge Night. I’m not sure what’s the equivalent of a Government official “ranking 10” in Singapore, but those, combined with an army of grassroots leaders, would make plenty of people untouchable here.

Obviously, it would be more fun to watch The Purge: Election Year than to envisage Singapore ever implementing Purge Night! This time, Senator Charlie Roan (Elizabeth Mitchell) and her head of security Leo Barnes (Frank Grillo) must find a way to survive on the streets of Washington DC following a betrayal. It’s a race to stay alive and stop a guerrilla group from assassinating the person who wants them dead – even if it’s legal to murder him on Purge Night. Movie opens in cinemas on July 14.

Movie to be released on July 14. Stay tuned!

Movie to be released on July 14. Stay tuned! Credit: United International Pictures

Sources: Wikipedia.org, Library Of Congress, Golden Village