UniSIM investigating student over alleged racist comments

Miss World 2013 Megan Young of the Philippines smiles after being crowed, in Nusa Dua, Bali resort island September 28, 2013. REUTERS/Murdani Usman

SIM University (UniSIM) is looking into allegations that one of its students posted racist comments about Filipinos after Miss Philippines Megan Young won the Miss World crown last month.

A spokesperson for the university for working adults confirmed with Yahoo Singapore on Monday that it has a student by the name of Devina Sharma, who is accused of using the name “Devina DeDiva” to post the alleged racist comments on Facebook.
“We are doing our due diligence to establish the facts of the case. If ascertained that our code of conduct for students has been violated, we will take appropriate disciplinary actions,” the UniSIM spokesperson said.

In a Facebook post shortly after the announcement of the Miss World 2013 results on 28 September, “Devina DeDiva” said, “Miss Philippines is Miss World? What a joke! I did not know those maids have anything else in them.”

She also described Filipinas as “poor”, “smelly from cleaning toilets” and “underprivileged”.

When other people pointed out the rudeness of her comments, the Facebook user said, “They r less privileged everywhere! M surprised one can win. What a joke these people cleaning our toilets won miss world.”

DeDiva's account was subsequently deleted, but resurfaced later on bearing the name "Devina Dediva (II)", continuing her anti-Filipino rants.

Police investigating
According to local media, one Anthony Benedicto filed a police report on 3 October against the person behind “Devina DeDiva” and said in a Facebook post, “Racism is not tolerated in Singapore.”
Benedicto later deactivated his Facebook account, but a redacted copy of the police report that made the rounds on social networks Path and Twitter showed it was filed against a Devina Sharma.
In response to queries by Yahoo Singapore, a police spokesperson confirmed that a report was lodged and that they are looking into the matter.

The incident has caused uproar in the Philippines with one prominent stage actress there saying, “That slur was certainly a form of discrimination against Filipinos. Why do we see maids as being lowly? Why? They do an honourable job. They contribute to society and are well-respected and well-appreciated in many countries . We have to be proud of that and not allow people to demean us in that way.”

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