Racism In Singapore's Blogosphere. Getting Out Of Hand?

Written by azhar.

A blogger was arrested a few days ago for posting racist remarks in his blog. Here is a few statements quoted from his blog, http://fragranceprince.blogspot.com:

well, he was already in the train when i boarded and there he sat, unaffected by his surroundings, smelling like he didnt showered in years and wore some really scary dirty clothes and had a dirty muddy bag with him too, in it were empty bottles which looks used… to many, he may seem a poor man or a beggar.. but… to me.. he’s wasted !!I mean… wassup with all the pretentious looks and actions for man….go get a job or better yet, make himself useful and learn how to start a fire using charcoal.. as it all lies in their blood…. SATAY SATAY!!!!

Aiya….stupid MALAYS!! Even if you are a Malay and am reading this… good for you..coz this is my personal blog and i can say what i deem fit…. if u wana defend yourself…. i suggest you arm youself with education and a motor mouth to compete against me.. else dont bother… coz i will bet my life on the line that, should you challenge me in a conversation… you will lose like what a true malay would…. LIKE **** !!!GET LOST!!
Several bloggers notified the racist content straightaway to the police. The blogger, who calls himself Fragrance Price, managed to apologize in his blog:

Dear Readers,

I would like to express my sincere apologies for any misinterpretation to my blog entry.

I regret having mentioned this entry in my blog which I didn’t expect it to turn out to be like this, I should have been more mindful.

Once again, I am sincerely apologetic for the recent events that had happen.

Your’s sincerely,


Read the article on it below:

A LOCAL blogger who ranted about a commuter’s behaviour on an MRT train was arrested on Tuesday night.

Police said the 24-year-old Chinese man was taken from his home at Paya Lebar Way at about 9.45 pm for ‘posting contents in his blog which may wound the racial feelings of another person’.

A computer, believed to be used to post the suspect’s blog, was seized for investigations, which are ongoing.

The case came to the attention of police on May 19 when they received two reports complaining of the alleged posts by the suspect.

According to a report in The New Paper on Wednesday, the blog was apparently sparked off by the suspect seeing a man of an another race sitting on the floor of an MRT train.

The blogger, an undergraduate, allegedly wrote: ‘There he sat, unaffected by his surroundings, smelling like he didn’t showered (sic) in years and wore some really scary dirty clothes…’

He went on to make other offensive comments about that racial group in his tirade, drawing flak from local netizens, who called him a racist.

One net-user wrote: ‘Stupidity has nothing to do with race at all. Just look to that blogger for proof that stupidity transcends all races.’

Added another: ‘Some things, once said, cannot be retraced. Don’t even make such stupid remarks in the first place.’

Under Section 298 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, anyone with deliberate intention of wounding the religious or racial feelings of any person, causes any matter however represented to be seen or heard by that person, can be jailed up to three years, or fine, or both, if convicted.

Deputy Commander of Central Police Div HQ, Superintendent Lee Ping Yue, in a statement late on Tuesday, said that police take a serious view of such irresponsible blog postings in a multi-racial society like Singapore and ‘will expend all efforts in tracking the perpetrators’.

Interviewed by TNP earlier on Tuesday before his arrest, the blogger said he was sorry for what he had written and would be more mindful of what he says in his blog in future.

He said he was shocked by the furore over his blog entry, which he said was only intended for his close friends. He added that he was surprised that the entry, which was written two months ago, started circulating only days ago.

‘I am a very expressive person - my style of writing is over the top. I write this way to make my entries more punchy and exciting,’ he told TNP.

He denied being a racist and maintained that he did not harbour any ill will towards the racial group he wrote about.

But he let on that he was in a particularly bad mood the day he wrote the blog entry.

‘I meant what I wrote in a different way. If people read it in another way, there is nothing much I can do,’ he said, adding that he planned to put up an online apology for his comments.

He has removed the post and password-protected his blog, which was featured on blog aggregator Tomorrow.sg, and linked to several popular online forums.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 21st May 2008

If you think this is the last of such racist blogging, then you are wrong. It appears that the a netizens have identified another racist blogger. This time, it is a mother. Below is a screenshot from her blog:

Yes, this blogger wrote it with her family picture above the post.

Singapore is a multi-racial community and such irresponsible acts can do harm to our racial harmony here. Blogging is now the new media whereby people share their views and rantings on their everyday life. However, a minority group of bloggers seemed to have crossed the line with their discriminatory remarks expressed in their blogs. This has a potential danger as the Internet is widely accessible in Singapore.

Freedom of speech is often an excuse when asked why these bloggers react that way in their online journals. Is Singapore ready for a more broader freedom of speech where even racist remarks can be included in the safe or allowed bin? Do you think the jail sentence is adequate enough to warn or deter other bloggers out there from posting racist content?

Imagine the thousands of eyes that reads the bigoted posts. There should be stricter law and more education to solve this problem.


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