Thursday, 27 February 2014

Racial fault lines 'not as deep as in 1960s'

Fault lines between racial and religious groups in Singapore have always existed, but are better now than they were in the 1960s, academics and community leaders said yesterday.

Online vitriol erupted after racist remarks posted by Ms Amy Cheong, an assistant director in the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), went viral. She was fired from her job on Monday. Her Facebook posts on Sunday, which contained derogatory remarks about Malays, were so startling that five Cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister, publicly commended her swift dismissal.

In a Facebook post, Law Minister K. Shanmugam said her remarks pointed to "deep fault lines in our society" based on race and religion.

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Netizens upset over racist online remark

A screen grab of the post has been spreading online

A racist and expletive-ridden tweet by a 19-year-old Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) student has gone viral and is causing a furore online.

The student, Shimun Lai had tweeted: "(expletive) Indians need their own form of transport or trains need to have separate cabins for humans and (expletive) dogs."

It also appears as if the Singaporean student has deleted both her Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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PM Lee, ministers respond to racist comments

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has expressed his shock over the racially offensive comments posted on Facebook by former NTUC assistant director Amy Cheong

On his Facebook page, he said: "Several of you wrote to me through Facebook about the person who posted offensive comments about Malay weddings on her Facebook page. I was shocked to hear about this. The comments were just wrong and totally unacceptable.

"Just last week I shared a WSJ Asia [Wall Street Journal Asia] article on why people say nasty things online that they would never say face-to-face. I reminded netizens that we needed to be extra careful and watch ourselves. I did not expect to see such a dramatic example so soon. Fortunately the person has promptly apologised for her grievous mistake. But the damage has been done, and NTUC did the right thing in terminating her services.

"Let us treat this incident for what it is: an isolated case that does not reflect the strength of race relations in Singapore. But it sharply reminds us how easily a few thoughtless words can cause grave offence to many, and undermine our racial and religious harmony. Let us all be more mindful of what we say, online and in person, and always uphold the mutual respect and sensitivity that holds our society together. - LHL"


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Police report lodged over 'Halal Pork' Facebook hoax

The police confirmed on Thursday that a report has been lodged against a religiously insensitive hoax that was making its rounds on social media platform Facebook recently. The image, which depicts a packet of grocery retailer FairPrice's Pasar Fresh Pork bearing a green halal sticker, was first circulated via e-mail here in 2007.

The latest report comes after a call for police investigation into the case was made by Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC MP Zainal Sapari on Monday, when the supermarket chain released a statement calling the image a "mischievous hoax that is both insensitive and done in poor taste". This comes after a slew of police reports were lodged by FairPrice since the first image of the tampered packaging was circulated via an e-mail hoax in 2007. Investigations are ongoing.

Police are also advising the public to refrain from circulating such images. Under Section 298A, those guilty of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race and doing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony can face a jail term of up to three years, a fine, or both.

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Pork meat with ‘Halal’ label an old image in 2007 hoax: NTUC FairPrice

NTUC FairPrice warns the public that an image being circulated online showing packaged pork meat carrying the “Halal” label is false and harkens back to a 2007 email hoax

In a statement on Monday, Seah Kian Peng, chief executive officer of NTUC FairPrice, said the original packaging of Pasar Fresh Pork does not carry the halal sticker from the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS).

He described the image of tampered packaging of the supermarket chain’s house brand as a “mischievous hoax” that is both “insensitive” and “done in poor taste”.

“We are mindful of the serious religious implications of this matter and regard this as a willful act of mischief…,” he said, noting the image has resurfaced online in Facebook.

Police report lodged over hoax
‘Halal’ pork hoax resurfaces online
‘Halal’ pork label an old hoax: FairPrice

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It's gonna be a wall of text without images

The government recently loosen the immigration criteria and has been approving more PR applications. These had caused a lot of disagreements among many Singaporeans. I am a Malaysian, Singapore PR myself.

Background story: My dad is a Singaporean, my mum is a Malaysian (SG PR), and i was born in Malaysia but had been living in Singapore since a baby.

And i don't see how my Malaysian mum and i had no contributions to Singapore's society for the past 20 over years. At least, our shopping taxes fed a lot of Singaporeans!

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Man, 22, under police probe for posting racist remarks under pseudonym ‘Heather Chua’

A 22-year-old man is under investigation by local police for a string of offensive remarks he allegedly posted under the fictitious name “Heather Chua” on Facebook.

In a statement issued on Friday, police said several members of the public have filed police reports against his posts, which angered many Internet users. The first, police said, was filed on 3 January this year.

Police said they determined the 22-year-old’s identity through “extensive investigations”. The man is now assisting police with their investigations.

Man probed for making racially insensitive remarks under "Heather Chua" account
Man under investigation for posting racist remarks as ‘Heather Chua’

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Man under investigation for posting racist remarks as ‘Heather Chua’

A screengrab of "Heather Chua"'s Facebook profile, which has since been deactivated. (Screengrab of "Heather Chua"'s Facebook profile)
“She” became notorious on the Internet for making derogatory comments on Facebook, taking aim at people living in Housing and Development Board flats, Institute of Technical Education (ITE) graduates and those of different races, among others.

Yesterday, “Heather Chua” was revealed to be a work of fiction, and a 22-year-old man is now under investigation for allegedly making racially insensitive remarks under the moniker on Facebook.

According to a police statement issued yesterday, a report was lodged by a member of the public on the remarks posted by “Heather Chua” on a Facebook account under the same name on Jan 3 — the first of several reports made by those who came across the comments online.

Nowhere to hide, so think before you type
Police report lodged over racist remarks on Twitter
Man probed for making racist remarks as ‘Heather Chua’

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Is Heather Chua for real?

Yes, nefarious "Heather Chua" has hit Singapore's cyberspace again

This time for an attention-grabbing Facebook post on Thursday, where she laments how her classmate from Raffles Girls' School has married an ITE graduate.

She wrote: "By going with an ITE graduate, she (the schoolmate) not only shame (sic) RGS but most importantly, she make (sic) her parents lose face in front of their friends (sic)." The post was shocking enough to be posted and shared on multiple sites and forums, and made headlines in one Chinese evening daily.

Previously, Chua gained notoriety for her critiques on NS men and people who live in housing board flats. Yesterday, there were new racist salvos on her account that got more people irate.

related: Reach's anti-trolling move: Postings 'may dip, then rise'

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Heather Chua is really a 22 year old man

If a hacker claiming to work for the Anonymous legion can get caught by the police, what makes the brainchild behind ‘Heather Chua’ think he could hide behind a fake Facebook profile? The last time someone posed as another person on FB to make disparaging remarks did so under the moniker Rachel Ann Beguia, who insulted Singaporeans as a whole. The post that triggered the hunt for ‘Heather’ was related toMuslim dietary habits, and proved to be as offensive as sharing a link to a Pig on a Kaaba image.

Heather Chua may have started out as a parody account, a fictional persona of an attractive, snobbish and ridiculously wealthy elite, the kind inspired by the likes of Wee Shu Min.  Citing her home as Sentosa Cove, she followed up her ITE diss by calling HDB dwellers ‘brainless low-lifes’.  It’s hard to imagine that such people exist, or that locals actually LIVE on Sentosa Cove. Last year the same Heather complained about NSmen being slackers and no one seemed to suspect her of being fake despite her familiarity with the army. She also happened to be an admirer of our PM, the very same PM who’s now glad that she’s been nabbed for investigations.

Thankfully, some bloggers were quick to call out Heather as a fraud, as ‘she’ turned out to be. If ‘Heather’ was conceived as an arrogant, racist bitch on the pretentious stage that is FB and her creator may be potentially arrested for sedition, what about characters in plays and movies who spew racist insults, like Adrian Pang’s porn director in Porn Masala? Would screenwriters or producers of racist scripts be called to ‘assist’ the police in investigations?

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Take a chill pill everybody, Heather Chua is NOT REAL


I’m sure you’ve seen this floating around the internet.

You can read how netizens are fiery about the hoo-haa at (here) or (here)

Now, my only conclusion is that this “Heather Chua” derives satisfaction from the agony of others. This isn’t the first time that “she” has been messing around and aggravating issues on social media.

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Police investigating 'iamclarena' for making racist remarks on Twitter

The woman, who goes by the handle 'iamclarena', had recently posted a series of racist remarks against Indians with her Twitter account.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, the police confirmed on Friday night that a report had been lodged against the woman for making racially aggravating remarks on social media.

The woman, who also goes by the handle 'Clarena Clanen TzeYi' on Facebook, is the second person this week to be investigated for posting racist remarks on the Internet.

Police report lodged over racist remarks on Twitter
Police report lodged over racist remarks on Twitter

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Iamclarena calling Indians smelly

In 2012, Law Minister K Shanmugam, of all people, received an email from a resident complaining about his Indian neighbours and their ‘Indian sweaty smell and unwashed bodies.’ He found the insult ‘disturbing’ and I assume he didn’t call the police immediately to investigate the matter, nor even call the racist in for a ‘chat’. If ‘Iamclarena’ had sent a direct message to the same minister’s FB page instead of blasting on Twitter, I wonder if he’d do anything about it. I wonder if he even knows what ‘CB’ means.

In 2005, a Today writer’s daughter was told by her KINDERGARTEN classmates that‘all Indians are smelly’. When his 3 year old son boarded the school bus, some boys would ‘cover their noses’.  Maybe the kid really had a severe case of BO, but no scientist would want to conduct a study to see if some races emit more unpleasant odours than others, so we’ll never know. There are smelly people of any race, of course, but the Twitterverse is full of people who insist on telling us who the smelliest are. Are we going to investigate them all?

But it’s not just Indian body smells that are the butt of racist jokes, even the aroma of their curry annoys the living hell out of some people, with some attributing what theyeat to how they smell. Their hairiness is also a running joke in Russell Peters’ (himself of Indian descent) gigs, while local DJs refrain from mimicking their accent.Some would label you a racist even if you believe in ‘positive’ stereotypes, like Indians are good at computer stuff, running, or hockey. Where then, do we draw the line?

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Police have confirmed that a police report has been lodged in relation to some racially insensitive remarks posted online by twitter account "iamclarena'.

The posts were targeted at Indians and make insensitive remarks about their appearance, smell and behaviour.

Screenshots of the offensive posts were shared widely on social media and the twitter account has since been taken down.

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K-pop contest finalist Stephanie Koh clarifies her ‘I don’t feel proud to be Singaporean’ remark
YouTube personality and K-Pop Star Hunt 3 finalist Stephanie Koh caused a stir in cyberspace after she said that she didn’t feel proud to be a Singaporean. In an interview with Razor TV about her bad behaviour in the competition – she initially refused to surrender her mobile phone and threatened someone – the 21-year-old was unapologetic.

“I wouldn’t actually bother about representing this country because to be honest I don’t really feel proud to be Singaporean. Yeah, because everyone here is so small-minded, everyone here is so submissive. Everyone here don’t (sic) know how to think out of the box. No one here is creative. Everyone here just thinks the same way, follows the same rules and it’s too rigid for my taste,” she said in the video.

Her remarks, which were also carried in a story in The Straits Times on Tuesday, drew mixed reactions, with some readers criticizing her attitude.

related: Not proud of Singapore? Change it

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Why is Stephanie Koh “Not Proud to be a Singaporean?”

If you’ve been following the news.. you would know that a controversy has sparked off  amongst netizens, when Stephanie Koh; who participated in a k-pop hunt contest (representing Singapore), spoke about her dissatisfaction of being a Singaporean.
You can watch the video of her interview here:
In the video, she said that  “Everyone here is submissive; everyone here don’t know how to think out of the box. No one here is creative. Everyone here just thinks the same way and follow the same rules. It’s too rigid for my taste.”
Read how netizens proceed to criticise her here: (source)
Well, if you’ve blindly chosen to believe exactly how the media has portrayed her to be and proceed to slam her almost immediately, you have just proven her point right- uptight, submissive (echoing along with the majority), and close-mindedness.
Wikipedia, on Human rights in Singapore: “The government has restricted
freedom of speech and freedom of the press and has limited other civil and political rights.
Censorship of sexual, political and racially or religiously sensitive content is extensive.”

'Not proud to be Singaporean' TV show finalist Stephanie Koh in family brawl

Ms Stephanie Koh (above), finalist of a Korean reality show, was accused of hitting her aunt on the first day of the Chinese New Year last Friday. -- THE NEW PAPER PHOTO: JEREMY LONG
The 21-YEAR-OLD who made the news last month for her controversial remarks on how she is not proud to be a Singaporean, has found herself making headlines again, this time over a family dispute
Ms Stephanie Koh, finalist of a Korean reality show, was accused of hitting her aunt on the first day of the Chinese New Year last Friday. Her aunt Nicole Chong, 33, who is the sister of Ms Koh's mother, made a police report against Ms Koh for attacking her.
A teacher who shares a Housing Board home with her mother, Ms Chong told The Straits Times she had locked herself in her room last Friday, when Ms Koh and her family came for a visit.
"We got into a quarrel in December, and she said a lot of things to hurt me then. I just wanted to avoid her this Chinese New Year," said Ms Chong.
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PRC = Please Return to China

Recently, we all know that this PRC family in Singapore reported their Indian neighbours (local) for cooking curry. The tragedy is that the Indian neighbours can only cook curry when this immigrant family isn’t around.

I am known by my friends to poke fun at Indians for their funny accent and weird smell, even those who are at the expense of my such jokes. But I love them because they make Singapore a happier and better place. In case I have never mention, my Indian friends are few of the most friendly and caring people I have ever met.

The next thing I’m going to declare is how much I hate my own race. I don’t stereotype and I won’t. Hence, with the exception of local Chinese—both parents and themselves RAISED in Singapore, meaning they study here, the men serve NS, and pretty much go through the same shit we locals have to go through—I want to send a message to the people of the same race:”.

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Amy Cheong case gains international interest

WHO would have thought that a single Facebook status update would lead to one woman being talked about, not just in Singapore, but outside our borders as well?

Amy Cheong's case has piqued the interest of Australian media, The Star in Malaysia and even Britain's BBC News.

The current online vitriol over the Amy Cheong incident raises a pertinent question: Are Singaporeans not xenophobic and racist too? 

Watz In Amy's rant?

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Racist rant: Amy Cheong gets stern warning from police

Former NTUC assistant director of membership Amy Cheong. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF AMY CHEONG

THE police have issued a stern warning to Miss Amy Cheong over her expletive-filled racist rant on Facebook last year.

The 38-year-old Australian and Singapore permanent resident, who has returned to her family home in Perth, confirmed to The Straits Times that she received an e-mail from the police last week informing her of the closure of her case file.

Miss Cheong, a former assistant director of membership at the National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), made headlines last October after she lost her job for posting the insulting message on her Facebook page.

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NTUC forced to sack Assistant Director after public outcry
In a statement sent to the media, its secretary-general Lim Swee Say said the trade organisation has "terminated with immediate effect the services of Ms Amy Cheong, Assistant Director, Membership department after establishing with her that she did post offensive comments... on 7 October 2012".

The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has sacked an assistant director from its membership division after she posted offensive comments on her personal Facebook account

"Regrettably and rightly so, her comments have upset members of the public, including many union members. We are sorry that this has happened. We have counselled the staff and impressed upon her the seriousness of her action. She is remorseful and has apologised for her grave lapse of judgement," he added. Full story

NTUC sacks employee who made racist comment online
NTUC's Assistant Director in hot soup over her racist rant against Malay weddings at HDB void deck

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Another Amy Cheong? Young mother complains about noise from Malay wedding

Jacqueline Wong's (left) post online about the noise from a Malay wedding is similar to the Amy Cheong (right) incident which happened last October

Another Amy Cheong in the making? A young mother has been bombarded by netizens for racial discrimination after she complained about a Malay wedding at her void deck, reported Lianhe Wanbao. One netizen even allegedly made a police report.

According to the report, there was a Malay wedding at the block where 20-year-old Jacqueline Wong lives. The celebrations reportedly caused her new-born baby girl not to get any sleep, thus prompting her to rant on social media site Facebook on Thursday evening.

She wrote: 'Another malay wedding under my block againnnnn! all th knocking since early morning! now thy are setting up th scene. then thy gonna make sooooooo much noises cooking till midnight. then again sooooooo much noises on th wedding day. no peace for at least 3days! god damn it. even my baby can't haf her afternoon nap. i wonder who started th "malay wedding at hdb" thing. nv see other races doing so too? inconsiderate max.' (Note: This is from her original post)

Exclusive interview with Amy Cheong
Racist rant: Amy Cheong gets stern warning from police

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Jacqueline Wong: Another Amy Cheong


After putting up the remark, Lianhe Wanbao said the post garnered much attention with netizens calling her disrespectful. The evening daily also said some people even reported her post to the police.

In a similar case in October 2012, former NTUC Membership Partnership & Alliance assistant director Amy Cheong posted an expletive-filled racist rant on Facebook about the noise coming from a Malay wedding held at her void deck, reported local news media

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Disgust over 'Eve and Ivy' cyber rants

According to the Chinese evening daily Shin Min, a netizen lodged a police report against Eve Tan about her racist online comments on Malays and Indians and the police have confirmed that they are looking into the matter.

Internet users are calling for action to be taken against two other people who posted controversial comments on Facebook. They said the posts' authors should be dealt with in a similar way to Ms Amy Cheong, the woman fired on Monday for making racially offensive remarks about the Malay community.

One of the two Facebook users, who called herself Eve Tan, also posted derogatory comments about Malays, branding them "low educated" and "lazy".

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Eve Tan calling Malays low educated and lazy

I do agree that this is a ‘fine example of complete ignorance’, because you’d have to be a complete moron to post such things on Facebook in light of how ‘netizens’ react to touchy race issues these days. In a separate post, Eve Tan gave some dubious statistics about how Malays make up the majority of prisoners and underaged smokers. Facebookers like her aren’t the only Singaporeans caught expressing the ‘hard truth’ about local Malays. There’s another more important and renown personality who knows a thing or two about the Malay psyche, and if he had a Facebook account, I wonder if he would be publicly slammed in the media or summoned by the police for ‘investigations’ as well.

Last year, LKY’s Hard Truths was branded as ‘haram‘, or forbidden to Muslims, by the Malaysian government (You may still get a copy from the nearest bookstore). According to Wikileaks, he called Islam a ‘venomous’ religion. He also urged Muslims should let go of some strict religious observances and be more sociable when eating with others, a statement regretted by both his own son and Minister Yaacob who had to apologise on his behalf. The AMP (Association of Muslim Professionals) criticised him for implying that Malays are lagging behind in terms of educational levels compared to Chinese and Indians. But like Amy Cheong’s comment on Muslim marriages, perhaps we should step back and reflect before grabbing the flaming pitchfork and raze Eve and Ivy’s houses to the ground.

In 2009, a 10 year report on PSLE maths reported a plunge in performance for Malays in that subject from 1999 to 2008, along with poorer results overall compared to Chinese and Indians. Teachers cited the reason for poor math as Malay students seemingly resigning to this as a ‘personal flaw’ by nature, as well as their not being able to afford tuition like the other races. Even with free tuition sponsored by Mendaki, there were ‘indifferent’ parents who did not bother sending their kids for classes. PSLE may not the most reliable marker for the success of an ethnic group, but this does highlight the complex interplay between educational level, family income, a system that has become heavily dependent on tuition and a perceived less-than-enthusiastic attitude towards academic performance.

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NUS student Sun Xu punished for 'dogs' comment

Chinese MOE scholar Sun Xu has been fined $3,000 and required to perform three months of community service by the National University of Singapore (NUS) for calling Singaporeans "dogs" on his microblog.

The NUS on Monday also revoked the engineering student's scholarship benefits for his final semester.

An NUS spokesperson said: “Mr Sun’s undergraduate scholarship benefits have been terminated for the final semester as his behaviour was unbecoming of a scholarship holder. Hence, he is required to pay back about $8,200 for the first tranche of this semester’s scholarship benefits, which had been disbursed to him."

Sun Xu was punished - Channel News Asia
NUS fines scholar for 'dogs' comment - AsiaOne
NUS PRC scholar Sun Xu seeks help from the Chinese Embassy in

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The National University of Singapore is keeping mum about the punishment meted out to sex blogger Alvin Tan Jye Yee, 24, raising the question as to why this is so when the punishment against NUS China scholar Sun Xu who insulted Singaporeans, was made public.

Alvin Tan shot to notoriety when his shared blog that showed his girlfriend, Vivian Lee, 23, and him engaging in explicit sex acts and their naked photos went viral. It was also revealed that it was the third time the law undergraduate had posted sexual content online, and had been reprimanded twice before.

An NUS spokesperson said in a statement yesterday that the university's board of discipline had concluded Mr Tan's "inappropriate conduct was detrimental to the reputation and dignity of the university".

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NUS and the Alvin Tan dilemma

Savour the irony: A saga that started with one of the most brazen acts of exhibitionism Singapore has ever seen may now end under a cloak of privacy.

The cloak I am referring to is the one that renders disciplinary proceedings in the National University of Singapore confidential.

It is why though the university said that it has decided to punish sex blogger Alvin Tan, it would not reveal what the punishment is.

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Alvivi's Alvin Tan bares all

In his e-book Sex, Pork and Persecution, Tan shares gritty insights of his one-week stint in Sungai Buloh prison.

The 25-year-old Youtube personality, better known as part of sex blogger duo Alvivi (the other is Vivian Lee, 24), was sent to the maximum-security facility to await trial after being denied bail in July last year.

Despite the frank and humorous tone employed throughout the chapter, titled Wonder What It's Like In A Malaysian Jail?, Tan admitted fearing for his life due to hostile treatment from the first few inmates he met.

related: Malaysian Sex bloggers Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee break up

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Alvin Tan Jye Yee

Malaysian ASEAN scholar, Alvin Tan Jye Yee, 24, gained notoriety for posting explicit photos and videos of himself and his girlfriend online. He has since been stripped of his scholarship by the National University of Singapore.

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MP: Singaporeans must learn to be respectful and gracious to FTs on the roads

Singapore Notes, 28 Oct 2013

Parliamentary Secretary for Transport and Health Dr Faishal's Facebook post about a road bully of Australian origin rings a bell: "Instead of assigning blame, it is important for us to remember that we must be gracious and respect one another on the roads."

It has to be a paraphrase of Member of Parliament (Tampines GRC) Baey Yam Keng's ringing endorsement of PRC scholar Sun Xu's diatribe (“There are more dogs than people in Singapore”) directed at our senior citizens: "We need to reflect upon ourselves, are we the way they described?"

It all looks so familiar: Foreigner Talents 1, Singaporeans 0. Full story

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Blogger probed for offensive Facebook post

Police are investigating a blogger for allegedly publishing a photo that is offensive to Muslims on his Facebook (FB) page.

Donaldson Tan, editor of Singapore-based current affairs commentary website New Asia Rebublic, is accused of putting up a picture of a pig superimposed on the Kaaba, a cuboid building in Mecca that is sacred in Islam. Pigs are considered unclean animals in Islam.

The post was accompanied by the text: "This is a flame bait. YOU ARE WARNED"

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Police investigate NSF over text criticising Islam

A police spokesman confirmed yesterday that they are looking into an incident where a full-time national serviceman (NSF) posted on his Facebook wall a picture of text that criticises Islam.

The NSF, identified as Mr Christian Eliab Ratnam, had posted a picture of text claiming that Islam is not a religion but 'an authoritarian, political doctrine which imposes itself by force', among other inflammtory things.

His Facebook account has since been deactivated, but an edited screenshot was put up on the TOC website.

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Huda kindergarten’s ‘young terrorist trainees’

From ‘PAP Youth member quits over ‘racist’ online posting’, article by Rachel Chang, 18 Nov 2011, ST
A PEOPLE’S Action Party (PAP) youth wing member has resigned from the party after one of his Facebook posts sparked accusations of racism as it circulated online. Mr Jason Neo, 30, drew criticism from Malay opposition politicians and playwright Alfian Sa’at, among others. His actions were also condemned by Young PAP (YP) leaders yesterday.
At least three police reports have been made against him, and the police told The Straits Times yesterday that the matter was being investigated. Mr Neo’s posting was made in February, before he joined the PAP.
It showed a picture he had taken of a school bus with Malay children from Huda Kindergarten, in Woodlands, dressed in their uniform which includes traditional Malay headwear. Mr Neo’s caption, which offended those who saw it in recent days, said: ‘Bus filled with young terrorist trainees?’

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Former YPAP member apologises to kindergarten over offensive post

A former Young People's Action Party (YPAP) member who posted a picture of kindergarten pupils with an offensive caption has written an apology to the school.

Mr Jason Neo, 30, has also asked permission to visit the school, Huda Kindergarten, so that he can apologise in person.

A copy of the letter was sent to The Straits Times yesterday.

related: PAP Youth member quits over 'racist' online posting

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Pig on the Kaaba as flame bait

From ‘Blogger probed for offensive Facebook post’, 23 Nov 2011, article
Police are investigating a blogger for allegedly publishing a photo that is offensive to Muslims on his Facebook (FB) page. Donaldson Tan, editor of Singapore-based current affairs commentary website New Asia Rebublic, is accused of putting up a picture of a pig superimposed on the Kaaba, a cuboid building in Mecca that is sacred in Islam.
Pigs are considered unclean animals in Islam. The post was accompanied by the text: “This is a flame bait. YOU ARE WARNED”.
Events provoking the Muslim community have been snowballing of late, from halal sticker pranks to links to terrorism. Astonishingly, at least 4 Facebook users have been since been accused of being racist curmudgeons online and threatening to destabilise social order, whether it’s blatantly maligning the very religion itself with some profane Zionist muckraking or simply complaining about prayers being played at McDonalds. Judging from the furious reactions by uppity netizens, people like Donaldson and Christian Eliab Ratnam should, if let off the hook,  stick to dismal status updates like what they’re having for lunch, though refraining from posting pictures of bratwurst sausages would probably be a good idea.

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‘Rachelle Ann Beguia’ likes to bootlick MPs

Despite Rachelle’s  apology, it will still take a greater, gracious Singaporean to forget about this incident and, instead of fanning the flames of xenophobia and getting paranoid about our maids throwing a revolution and poisoning our food in a bid to topple their Singaporean overlords, perhaps we should reflect on how such sweeping foreigner attitudes will galvanise Singaporeans into improving our current lot and survive this alien invasion, something that ‘can’t be helped’ and have to ‘assuage’, short of slashing PRCs or splashing hot curry on their doorsteps.

Thanks to Facebook, we are threatening to make the first forays into treacherous hate-crime territory out of something that started as an ‘impolite guest’ analogy. Perhaps it’s a case of security in numbers which allows people like Rachelle to risk losing her work permit and make audacious comments, believing that there’s a 2 million strong community who would rally around her at the drop of a hat.

Such divisive ideas may be considered as bitter medicine by the government who take the long view of economic growth at the expense of Singaporeans gradually feeling marginalised in a society where foreigners have the luxury of slamming their hosts, foreigners who have become arrogant because they were led to believe Singapore is hopeless without their talent, something which our ministers have emphasised time and time again and even celebrate with table tennis medals.

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Wee Shu Min elitism controversy

The Wee Shu Min elitism controversy occurred in October 2006. Wee Shu Min, daughter of parliament member Wee Siew Kim and a then-eighteen year-old student on Raffles Junior College's scholarship programme, found herself in controversy after posting on her blog what were viewed by some Singaporeans to be elitist, naïve, and insensitive statements against heartlanders

Dismissing the views of Derek Wee who voiced concerns on job security and age discrimination on his blog, she shot back with a take-no-prisoners diatribe, calling Derek a "stupid crackpot", belonging to "the sadder class" and overreliant on the government. Her post also called for Derek to "get out of my elite uncaring face".

Her response triggered an avalanche of criticism, as it came on the heels of the sensational suicide of an individual (said to be facing financial difficulties) at Chinese Garden MRT Station As a result, her name topped Technorati's search terms for a week. She has since appeared to have apologised on another blog and shut down her own.

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Female JC and university alumnus calls ITE students 'failures' who 'cannot study'
An ex-Junior College and university student made disparaging remarks about Institute of Technical Education (ITE) students online.

STOMPers Koh and Kai Siang had come across her facebook postings and alerted STOMP to them. On her facebook account, she had written that ITE students 'cannot study' and hence, should not 'challenge JC students in everything'.

She also compared certificates from both schools and pointed out that an 'A' Level certificate would provide more options when it comes to the choice of university courses to study. Her list includes law, medicine and pathology, she said.

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Only ACS boys worth dating, says teacher

Yet another blogger has expressed the view that boys from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent) make great boyfriends. This time, there is extra interest as the blogger herself is a relief teacher at a local primary school.

According to a netizen who stumbled upon her blog: "I came across this blog created by a relief teacher in Singapore."

"She compared boys from all-boys schools, and described boys from Chinese High and Raffles Institution as being 'ugly' and that St Andrews boys are 'imitated goods of ACS'.

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Controversial blogger arrested, referred to IMH
23-year-old Jiang Lai threatened to kill herself and was referred to IMH. (Facebook photo)
23-year-old Jiang Lai threatened to kill herself and was referred to IMH. (Facebook photo)

A controversial Singapore-based blogger who sparked heated debate about her dating habits has been arrested and referred to the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).

According to The New Paper, 23-year-old Singapore Permanent Resident (PR)  Jiang Lai was arrested after trying to check in to Fairmont Hotel along Bras Basah Road on 13 May. She reportedly got into an argument with hotel staff after she was asked to make a deposit for a week's stay. During the argument, Jiang threatened to commit suicide and began to speak incoherently.

Jiang was subsequently arrested by police and referred to IMH. It's not clear why she had planned to stay at the hotel for a week when she lives with her parents in Ang Mo Kio.

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'Awesome' racist jokes lands SIM student in trouble

The National University of Singapore (NUS), the Singapore Institute of Management (SIM) and the police are investigating a YouTube video of a drunk student making racist jokes.

The first-year SIM student, Justin Wee, 24, was captured on video spewing vulgarities and passing derogatory comments on Malays and Indians, The Straits Times reported.

There were also other voices in the video egging the student to tell "more Malay jokes or Indian jokes", to which the student responded: "My racist jokes damn awesome right?"


Tension if online derogatory posts are not handled well
Racial harmony camp brings teens outdoors for inter-racial bonding
'Don't let in problems from elsewhere'

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‘Expletive online post about Indians hurtful, wrong and uncalled for’

Nanyang Polytechnic student’s “expletive-laced (online) post about Indians” was “particularly hurtful, wrong and completely uncalled for”, said Member of Parliament (MP) for Tanjong Pagar GRC Indranee Rajah.

Writing on her Facebook page on Tuesday, she said, “We may all feel frustrated and angry about certain issues at times, but we shouldn’t vent or take out our frustrations and anger in the form of racially directed comments.”

Earlier this week, 19-year-old Lai Shimun drew flak from netizens after posting racist remarks on her Twitter page which went viral on Monday.

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Lai Shimun under the spotlight

Since I've recently talked about Franziska Zimmermann and Sun Xu on my blog, it was inevitable that a friend would ask me to do a piece on Lai Shimun - so here it is.  For those of you who are not following this story in Singapore, here is it in a nutshell. Ms Lai Shimun, a Singaporean student got into trouble when her racist tweet sparked a public outcry. A police report was lodged against her and she has seen made a groveling public apology. Her school NYP has since issued a statement to say that they have counselled Ms Lai and an MP Lim Biow Chuan has also added that since Ms Lai has apologized, “we should accept it graciously and all of us should move on.”

Now Lai Shimun's case is somewhat different from the other two cases. Ms Zimmermann was interviewed specifically for the Straits Times whilst Sun Xu's comments were published on Chinese social networking site Ren Ren 人人网 - Ms Lai's tweet on the other hand was supposedly aimed only to her circle of followers but one of them, Alice (not her real name), felt so peeved off that she re-tweeted it to teach her good friend Lai Shimun a lesson. If 'Alice' hadn't retweeted Ms Lai's tweet, this wouldn't even be a story in the first place.

Mind you, if I was Alice, I wouldn't have retweeted Ms Lai's offensive tweet. Instead, I would confront her one to one and tell her, "Hey Shimun, that tweet was not acceptable, it was very racist and offensive. You cannot write shit like that on Twitter or you will get into a lot of trouble."

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Shimun Lai - What's her crime?

What did Shimun Lai say that has gotten so many people riled up? Indians upset over her remark; non-Indian netizens upset over it in a show of solidarity; other netizens upset that people are upset with Shimun....

Something is not right with this picture. Let's just face it. Racial stereotyping is a common feature in every society. In just about every country I've been to, racial comments, racial jokes, insensitive racial stereotyping is part of the ordinary social landscape. Singapore is no different.

From the time that I was in Primary school, I can remember comments and jokes about my dark skin. Sometimes kids would shun me because the darkness of the skin equates with being dirty and I used to get those comments thrown straight at my face. I have heard people characterise Indians as slimy, fork-tongued, liars. Even as a practising lawyer, I used to get back-handed compliments about why so many Indians make good lawyers (because we are good at twisting things around).

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Racially insensitive comment by poly student

Shimun Lai, a 19-year-old student allegedly pursuing the Diploma in Diagnostic Radiography at Nanyang Polytechnic, supposedly tweeted a racially insensitive comment about a minority race in Singapore, which has now gone viral in the social media.

Earlier today, TOC tried to get in touch with Ms Lai to seek clarification on the issue, but she has yet to respond to our query. Ms Lai is a Singaporean and has studied in Singapore schools.

Her Facebook and Twitter accounts have now been deleted, but she still has an online presence in other social networking sites.

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Can you don’t eat curry?

From ‘Curry is a Singapore flavour’, 11 Aug 2011, Voices, Today

(Frances Ong Hock Lin):…I am concerned when a family (from China) who have relocated to Singapore have requested that their (Indian) neighbour stop cooking curry. They had resorted to mediation because they could not stand the smell.
“Can you please do something? Can you don’t cook curry? Can you don’t eat curry?” they implored.
Maybe it is timely for us to remember that just as we are given freedom to express our culture and religious customs, we have to co-exist in our common space, such as the air we breathe.
…I feel strongly that it is inappropriate to ask the local family to only cook curry when the neighbour is not at home. It is equivalent to asking my neighbour not to burn paper offerings when my husband is home, which is a ridiculous request.

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“Please, get out of my elite uncaring face.”

Wee Shu Min

I am sure many people recognized this quote by Miss Wee. After all, the Wee Shun Min saga has been one of the most widely debated topics in Singapore.

The whole issue started when Derek Wee published his rejected letter to the straits times on his blog. Derek wrote in response to the “Straits Times article (dated 24 Sep) on PM Lee calling the young to be committed and make a difference to Singapore.” Basically, he pointed out the uncertainties and pressures Singaporeans are facing in Singapore.

He touched upon issues on the competitiveness in our society, ageism faced by Singaporeans in their 40s, “quitters”, the call to procreate etc. He ended off by expressing his opinion that the current PAP government is on a different platform from the people because they do not understand our insecurities. His honest letter echoed what many Singaporeans have been feeling and hence many people started pouring in comments supporting his point of view.

related: Days of Rage