SINGAPORE — Rapper Subhas Nair, brother of social media personality Preetipls, has been removed from national broadcaster CNA’s upcoming musical documentary, following his appearance in a controversial music video.
In response to media queries on Wednesday (31 July), a CNA spokesperson added that articles related to Subhas’ involvement in ROAR have too been taken down.
“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.”
According to a cached version of a teaser page for ROAR, which has since been taken down, the series follows the musical journey of Singaporean artists Benjamin Kheng, Aisyah Aziz, Subhas and Wang Weiliang “to rediscover their city and themselves”.
The edited series will air on CNA this weekend, the spokesperson said.
In the music video posted on social media on Monday, Subhas and his sister Preetipls, whose real name is Preeti, 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, has apologised for the advertisement and stated any hurt caused was unintentional.
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!”.
On Tuesday, the police said that a report had been made over the video’s “offensive content” and that investigations into the matter are ongoing. 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.
Shanmugam had during a media briefing on Tuesday said, “If we allow this, then we have to allow other videos”, in response to criticism that it was an overreaction to a single video on the government’s part.
Regarding the E-Pay advertisement, he added that he had been advised by lawyers that no offence had been committed.
Those who see something they do not like should ask for an apology from the offending party, Shanmugam advised. “If you think it’s criminal, you make a police report. You don’t yourself cross the line,” he added.
Other ministers and leaders also echoed his sentiments. The “tit-for-tat video done in response to it was disrespectful, and will lead us down a dark path”, said Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu in a statement.
In a Facebook post, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin called the video “disturbing” and “unacceptable”, adding that “stern action” should be taken”.
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