SINGAPORE — The police and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) advised the public on Wednesday (31 July) to refrain from circulating and sharing a music video starring social media personality Preetipls and her brother.
In a statement posted on Facebook, the authorities noted that there has been an attempt to circulate and share the video, which is now under investigation by the police. A report had been made over the video’s “offensive content”, the police said in an earlier statement on Tuesday.
In the three-minute music video posted on social media on Monday, Preetipls, whose real name is Preeti Nair, and her brother Subnas Nair, mock an advertisement for the E-Pay service in which Mediacorp actor Dennis Chew was depicted as four different characters, including an Indian man with artificially darkened skin and a Malay woman wearing a headscarf.
The advertisement, which has since been taken down from the E-Pay site, was widely criticised for being racially insensitive. Mediacorp, the parent company of CNA, and the creative agency behind it have apologised for the advertisement and stated any hurt caused was unintentional.
Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to NETS, which oversees the rollout of the E-Pay system, and three agencies that appointed NETS for the payment platform - Enterprise Singapore, the National Environment Agency, and the Housing and Development Board - about the advertisement.
In the Nair siblings’ video, which was peppered with expletives and vulgar gestures, the pair implied that the advertisement is evidence of a racial bias against minorities here.
“Cos all they want is the brown dollar,” says Subhas in one line of his rap, while his sister claims that “C.M.I.O.” stands for “Cancel Minority Is OK!”.
A version of the video posted on Preeti’s Facebook page garnered more than 1,200 reactions and more than 650 shares, before it was taken down in the evening of the same day.
A spokesperson from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said in a statement that the siblings had compiled with a notice to to take down the video.
In response to media queries, a CNA spokesperson said that Subhas has been removed from upcoming musical documentary ROAR, with articles related to his involvement taken down as well.
“The video used four-letter words and vulgarities to insult Chinese Singaporeans. Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam has said the video was meant to make minorities angry with Chinese Singaporeans,” said the spokesperson.
“CNA strongly objects to all such offensive content which threatens racial harmony and will not associate with individuals who intentionally create such content.”