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Iconic HIT!
Sunday, March 8 | 6:21 AM

Slightly over a week ago, this incident made headlines in the local news.
Merlion statue at Singapore River struck by lightning; suffers slight damage

By Claire Huang, 938LIVE | 28 February 2009 2219 hrs



SINGAPORE: In a rare incident, Singapore's longstanding icon, the original Merlion statue, at the mouth of the Singapore River has been struck by lightning. 

One witness told MediaCorp Radio's 938LIVE that orange sparks flew when lightning struck between 4pm and 5pm at Merlion Park. 

Staff in the vicinity said they heard an explosion followed by a loud thud when broken pieces fell to the ground. 

About 30 people dashed into a nearby restaurant for safety. 

Other onlookers continued to take photos of the 36-year-old tourism icon. - 938LIVE/vm 

Long before the iconic hit, here's what a local poet has to say about the Merlion :

The Merlion

By Alfian Bin Sa’at

 “I wish it had paws,” you said,

“It’s quite grotesque the way it is,

you know, limbless; can you

imagine it writhing in the water,

like some post-Chernobyl nightmare?

I mean, how does it move? Like a

torpedo? Or does it shoulder itself

against the currents, gnashing with frustration,

its furious mane bleached

the colour of a drowned sun?

But take a second look at it,

how it is poised so terrestrially,

marooned on this rough shore,

as if unsure of its rightful 

harbour. Could it be that,

having taken to this unaccustomed limpidity,

it has decided to abandon the seaweed-haunted

depths for land? Perhaps it is even ashamed

(But what a bold front!)

to have been a creature of the sea; look at how

it tries to purge itself of its aquatic ancestry,

in this ceaseless torrent of denial, draining

the body of rivers of histories, lymphatic memories.

What a riddle, this lesser brother of the Sphinx.

What sibling polarity, how its sister’s lips are sealed

with self-knowledge and how its own jaws

clamp open in self-doubt, still

surprised after all these years.”

“Yet...what brand new sun can dry

the iridescent slime from the scales

and what fresh rain wash the sting of salt

from those chalk-blind eyes?”


A pause.

“And why does it keep spewing that way?

I mean, you know, I mean...”

“I know exactly what you mean,” I said,

Eyeing the blond highlights in your black hair

And your blue lenses the shadow of a foreign sky.

It spews continually if only to ruffle

its own reflection in the water; such reminders

will only scare a creature so eager to reinvent itself.”


Another pause.


“Yes,” you finally replied, in that acquired accent of yours,

“Well, yes, but I still do wish it had paws.”

In these gloomy times, is this a sign of worse things to come?

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