SINGAPORE: YouTuber Preeti Nair and her brother Subhas were given a conditional warning over their controversial online rap video made in response to a “brownface” advertisement.
Police yesterday said they had completed their investigations into the video, which allegedly contained offensive content.
They said they considered the circumstances of the case and consulted the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC), and had given the siblings a 24-month conditional warning.This means they must remain crime-free for 24 months or they may be dealt with in court for both their original and new offences.
A police report was made on July 29, after the video was posted on Facebook and YouTube on the same day.
The siblings later admitted to the police that they had produced and published the video.
“The video was in clear contravention of the Penal Code, ” the police said in their statement.
“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 added 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.
“Singapore has taken a clear approach, to say no to offensive speech, targeted at race and religion, ” they added.
Preeti, who is better known as Preetipls, and Subhas, a rapper, subsequently issued public apologies for their actions.
Preeti’s video was made in response to an advertisement featuring Mediacorp actor and DJ Dennis Chew.
He was pictured as four characters – apparently a Chinese man and woman, a Malay woman wearing a tudung, and, with his skin darkened, an Indian man.
The ad was created for epaysg.com, an e-payments website.
Chew also apologised for his role in the ad, saying: “My role in a recent ad has caused much disappointment. For many days I held back what I have to say, afraid of making things worse. I feel terrible about how things turned out.”
In their statement, the police said they also received reports on the e-pay advertisement, which had been referenced in the rap video.
The AGC had advised that there was no criminal offence disclosed in respect of the advertisement, the police said, adding that no further action would be taken. — The Straits Times/Asia News Network