A goldfish, a dragon and a snake are some of the tattoos running the entire length of both his arms. These animal tattoos on the skin of a Singapore nightclub-goer prompted staff members there to take a closer look. Mr Masazlie Mohamed Salleh, 35, said his tattoos attracted the attention of a security staff member at the Living Room, a bar at the five-star Marriott Hotel on Orchard Road.
Later, a bar manager offered him a jacket to cover his arms so he could enter the bar. Ironically, Mr Masazlie himself is a bouncer, at Orchard Towers, which attracts a different set of customers. As a bouncer, he knows clubs have the discretion to turn away customers to maintain a certain ambience and comfort level for the regular customers.

Mr Masazlie got the impression from the security staff member that his tattoos might ’scare’ other patrons there. But one of his friends, Mr Arman Khair, 38, was permitted entry even though he had tattoos on both his upper arms. Mr Masazlie understood that this was because Mr Arman’s tattoos were ‘less obvious’ than his.

Mr Masazlie claimed he had previously frequented the bar - even up to two to three times a week three months ago - without any issue. When contacted, a spokesman for Living Room said it had since apologised to Mr Masazlie, saying that the incident was a misunderstanding. The spokesman clarified that it ‘certainly does not have a policy against tattoos’.

She added that the club was investigating the matter to see whether there had been service lapses. Mr Masazlie, who first got his tattoos 15 years ago, has 14 tattoos inked on his arms, legs, chest and back. However, only those on his arms were visible that night as he was clad in a polo shirt, jeans and sneakers, just like Mr Arman.

He said: ‘I see tattoos as art, a thing of beauty. I’ve never (been a part of) any gang.’

Mr Arman, who works in the shipping industry, asked: ‘What would they have done if it had been David Beckham or Tommy Lee? Would they have been turned away too because of their tattoos?’ The spokesman noted that the club’s security team had been changed ‘due to organisational reasons’ earlier this month. She added: ‘We apologise for the inconvenience caused.’
The nightspot’s employees will be meeting with Mr Masazlie soon to settle the matter amicably.