Singapore police probes online rap video for alleged racism

Singapore police on Tuesday said it was investigating an online rap video allegedly containing offensive content, featuring an Indian-origin duo, that was made in response to a recent advertisement by an e-payment website.

The rap video, understood to be featuring local Indian-origin YouTuber Preeti Nair and rapper Subhas Nair, was posted on Facebook and YouTube on Monday, The Straits Times reported.

The video was apparently in response to an advertisement, created for an e-payment website, featuring Mediacorp actor and DJ Dennis Chew portraying four characters- apparently a Chinese man and woman, a Malay woman and an Indian man with darkened skin.

In a statement, the police said it was aware of an online video that is directed against the e-Pay advertisement.

A police report has been lodged against the video for its offensive content and investigations are on, it said.

The police will not tolerate any offensive content that causes ill-will between races, the statement said.

The advertisement drew sharp opinions, anger and praise for its apparent depiction of racial togetherness, the paper said.

Some people felt that it was in “poor taste,” it added.

Ruby Thiagarajan, editor-in- chief of Mynah Magazine, slammed the advertisement on Friday.

“Brownface in a Singaporean ad in 2019. I thought we already went over this…” the tweet, which captured a picture of the ad, said.

Broadcaster Mediacorp, through its celebrity management wing, later apologised for the advertisement. The website too has removed the controversial advertisement.

Singapore maintains a multi-racial status with Chinese, Malays and Indians making up the mainstream of the society.