Mar 17, 2015

Island Hopping with the GPK | Singapore Streets

For the recent year, we have been doing major moves when it comes to telling the stories of the true street life in Malaysia's car culture especially the ones originating from Kuala Lumpur. It somehow comes to the point where people from the neighbouring countries start hearing about it. All started when I met Jas during a trip with Shift Magazine in Johor. At the time, I was assigned to shoot his car for the magazine,That's when he told me he needed someone to record he and his crew in the streets of Singapore.

Personally I never been to Singapore. One because I never really had a chance and reason to go. The other reason, I haven't heard anything about Singapore that got my interest. But since my friend needed a little help from my services, I decided to go anyway. Prior to leaving for Singapore, I did my homework and found that a lot of those who drive sport cars tend to be in hiding. Either because they don't want to risk being fined or there is just nowhere to go. I would understand since the Land Transportation Authority (LTA) is always giving car guys heat and the island is only 40 km from end to end.

My host's crew is a group of friends that call themselves The GPK which means 'Gerek Punya Kaki'. The name practically means 'the cool kids' in Singaporean Malay slang. The group itself is basically on a friend basis since most of the guys have different backgrounds and came from many different car groups that are based in Singapore and neighbouring Johor Bharu. It started as a WhatsApp group but only as recent as 2014, they decided to be formed as a physical group. It was not too hard since they pretty much hang out and roll almost every night and go to the same garage in Johor called Fast Works Garage.

Despite what people say about the car scene in Singapore, the enthusiasm that the GPK has is unquestionable. Since cars in Singapore is so over-priced, not to mention the cost of the Certificate of Entitlement (COE) in order to keep a car that is older than 10 years. But they still keep modding and driving what they have. I guess that pretty much explains why most of them use their modded rides as daily drivers.

Most outsiders would be wondering what could car guys in Singapore possibly do during their free time. They can't go highway boosting since their highways got speed cameras on the best stretches. The MCE tunnel that is about 10 km long is monitored through the whole stretch and there is no mountain road on the island. So the next best thing would be traffic light to traffic light sprinting in and out of downtown Singapore.

All in all, my experience in Singapore was an eye opener. For the whole weekend, I saw the one side of its street life that most people won't talk about and the struggles they go through just to be able to drive and mod their cars. But I would definitely be back. Since I still got friends that I haven't had a chance to meet and cars I wasn't able to see. Until next time, Singapore.

Mat Canyon x Gerek Punya Kaki | Island Hopping from Mat Canyon on Vimeo.