British tabloid calls Singapore President Tony Tan a ‘Prime Miniature’

Nurul Azliah Aripin
·Nurul Azliah Aripin
British tabloid calls Singapore President Tony Tan a ‘Prime Miniature’
British tabloid calls Singapore President Tony Tan a ‘Prime Miniature’

[UPDATE 29 October 2014, 10:23am: Added response for UK's The Sun Newspaper]

A British newspaper gleefully pointed out the height difference between Prince William and Singapore’s president Tony Tan during his state visit to London.

The Sun newspaper appeared to call the president a “Prime Miniature” in a photo of him standing beside the taller Duke of Cambridge, said local website The Real Singapore (TRS). 

The article printed in The Sun showed a photo of the two couples with speech bubbles above their heads. The one above Prince William said, “Hello, I’m his Royal Highness,” while the one above the President said, “… and I’m the Prime Miniature”.

 

A footnote at the bottom of the photo added: “Actually he’s the president but that wouldn’t have made a funny headline”. 

This photo was taken by a The Real Singapore reader based in the UK. It shows an article printed in The Sun, with the words Prime Miniature printed above the photo of Singapore's president Tony Tan. 
This photo was taken by a The Real Singapore reader based in the UK. It shows an article printed in The Sun, with the words Prime Miniature printed above the photo of Singapore's president Tony Tan. 

 

The cheeky caption offended UK-based Singaporean Teck Siang Sim, who wrote to the British High Commissioner of Singapore, Antony Phillipson to voice his disapproval.

Teck’s letter was also posted on TRS on Tuesday. In the letter, Teck said The Sun’s article, “if real, is really disrespectful” and called for the High Commission to “investigate this matter and give a decent explanation to Singaporeans”.

 

The Sun is a daily tabloid newspaper in the UK known for its penchant for sensationalising news.

In an email reply to Yahoo Singapore, a spokesperson said, "We are sorry if anyone was offended by what was, and even described in print as, a deliberately funny and joking headline. The fact that there is a free press in Britain allows newspapers like The Sun to make such light-hearted and fun-poking comments at those in power. We would urge any Singaporeans offended by the headline to consider whether their ire should instead be directed at their government who prevent proper freedom of expression by controlling the media."

A TRS editor’s note at the end of Teck’s letter added, “The writer doesn't seem to realise that the way media works in the UK, and in fact most western countries, is very different from the way media operates in Singapore… In fact, due to the media freedom, private companies need to compete heavily and use sensational headlines and pictures in order to attract readers.”