An insult to compare busking with begging

To conflate begging and busking is to paint a condescending view of busking (Do not allow busking as a day job, by Miss Susan Tan; April 17).

Miss Tan seems to have confused the idea of an income that comes with the time and effort spent in performing and the subsequent appreciation of such efforts with the idea of busking as a sole money-making activity.

I refer to the article, "Popular street performers with a regular following" (ST Online; March 8, 2015), where we see instances of people giving money to buskers out of appreciation, as well as the passion of performing on the buskers' part.

I do agree with Miss Tan that busking should be used to cultivate a vibrant art culture in Singapore.

However, if she really is pushing for this notion of "vibrancy" in art culture, her idea of allowing only locals to perform while excluding others, like foreigners, seems to be a contradiction.

Her assertion that foreigners would be encouraged to "come to our shores to earn an income via busking" makes one wonder whether Singaporeans are such big tippers that foreigners will come all the way to this little red dot to busk.

Warren Choo Shao Jie

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2018, with the headline 'An insult to compare busking with begging'. Print Edition | Subscribe