Preeti Nair – a Singaporean Indian comedian and YouTuber who goes by the name ‘Preetipls’ – has put an end to the rap video saga, revealing that she understands why people get so offended by the video.
Earlier, a discussion on racial relations gripped the nation after a “racially insensitive” advertisement campaign began trending online. The ad for government-led initiative E-Pay featured Chinese actor Dennis Chew dressed as a Chinese man, Chinese woman, Malay woman and an Indian man.
Responding to the video, Preeti released an expletive-laden rap video, calling out the E-pay advertisement featuring the Chinese actor wearing dark makeup or “brownface” to portray an Indian man.
Preeti and her brother, Subhas Nair, not only criticised the advertisement but went on to rail against the Chinese in Singapore and talked about casual racism against minorities in Singapore.
The video drew backlash from the Government and has since been banned in Singapore. The police are investigating the video and the creators of the video, while Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said, “When you use four-letter words, vulgar language, attack another race, put it out in public, we have to draw the line and say not acceptable.”
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) eventually issued a conditional warning to Preeti and Subhas. The authorities said: “The video was in clear contravention of the Penal Code. If this video were to be allowed, then similar expletive-laden, insulting, offensive videos, targeted at all communities will have to be allowed.”
Despite calling the E-pay advertisement “distasteful,” the SPF said that it would not take action against the company behind the advertisement even though a police report was made since the Attorney-General’s Chambers advised that no criminal offence had been committed.
In a Facebook post published on Wednesday (14 Aug), Preeti put an end to the saga. Asserting that the case is closed, she wrote: “Thank you to every one who understood our intentions behind the music video. Thank you to all the friends, clients, fans and everyone who offered any form of help/legal advice/comfort to us in the last 2 weeks.
“Thank you to everyone who didn’t try to kick us while we were down but instead attempt to understand discrimination and it’s several forms. also shoutout to the tough ones who tried to fend us from psychotic trolls online…don’t bother next time la that one lost cause haha”
Preeti clarified that she understands “exactly why people got offended with the MV” and asserted that she is not seeking to justify the video. Calling on all to seek more accountability on issues such as race relations, she said:
“I am here to say thank you and let’s hope we don’t see anymore painted faces and “offensive rap videos” ever again. It sickens me when corporations get away with major screw ups by doing the literal least – we see this all around the world and I guess this is no longer news to me anymore but we should all strive to be more accountable, both individually and as corporations.
“if you have body paint out there…pls use it wisely, we don’t need this to ever happen again. Thanks and back to work.”
Noting that she does not know whether the E-pay advertisements are still up, Preeti signed off by calling herself “SG’s TOP Conditional Warning receiver.” Read her post in full here: