Some have made the point that the government had been unfair in the way they handled the now infamous Brownface e-payment ad featuring Mediacorp artiste Dennis Chew, and how they reacted to the “Fuck it up” music video by Preetipls and her brother, Subhas.
The thing is, both sides fucked it up. But there’s a critical difference, which probably explains the different treatment by the authorities.
The Dennis Chew ad, while stupid, insensitive, ignorant and in poor taste, was clearly not done with a malicious intent. Casual, unintended racism? Yes. It is wrong, period.
But did that warrant a disproportionate response that appears to be deliberately malicious and provocative? Probably not. Many Chinese might argue that they weren’t offended personally by the video, including me. But that does not mean that this necessarily represents the view of the majority, especially the older Chinese who are likely to be more conservative.
It must be noted that previously, members of the Chinese community have also been taken to task by the authorities when they cross the line. Do a Google search. There are no lack of examples.
See below for some more recent cases:
- William Aw, who subjected a lift passenger to racist remarks and stepped on the foot of a woman who held the lift door open for him was on Jul 26 19 sentenced to four weeks’ jail and a $1000 fine.
- Chen Jianbang, who scrawled graffiti, including racist messages, on walls and pillars in the Geylang area was sentenced to 13 months’ jail and nine strokes of the cane on 17 Jun 19.
- Two 17-year-old male Chinese youths were arrested in 2012 for allegedly posting racist remarks online. They had allegedly made derogatory comments aimed at a minority race.
So, is the government really taking the side of the Chinese majority? Think again.