SINGAPORE — Social media personality Preeti Nair and her brother Subhas were each issued a two-year conditional warning by the police on Wednesday (14 August) over a controversial rap video the duo released online last month.
In a media statement, the police said the warning was issued under Section 298A(a) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, which covers the offence of wounding racial feelings.
Released on social media late last month, the siblings’ video had mocked an E-Pay advertisement which saw local Chinese actor Dennis Chew being depicted as four different characters, including an Indian man with artificially darkened skin and a Malay woman wearing a headscarf. The video was peppered with expletives and vulgar gestures directed at Chinese Singaporeans.
“The video was in clear contravention of the Penal Code. If this video were to be allowed, then similar expletive-laden, insulting, offensive videos, targeted at all communities will have to be allowed,” the police statement read.
“There is clear evidence around the world, including in the past week, that such paths inevitably lead to more racism, more racial tensions, and eventually, violence.
“It will be the minority communities, specifically the Malay and Indian communities, who could suffer more in such a situation,” it added, noting that investigations against the duo had commenced after a police report was made about the video on 29 July.
The statement also reiterated Singapore’s “clear approach” in saying “no to offensive speech targeted at race and religion” and added that the Nair siblings had issued public apologies for their actions.
With regard to the E-Pay advertisement, the police said that while reports had been made over it, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had advised that no criminal offence had been committed. “The Police will take no further action in relation to the advertisement,” the statement said.
Those who receive conditional warnings from the police are liable to be charged for the original offence should they breach the specified conditions. Following the condition period, the accused parties will no longer be subject to prosecution for the original offence.