Prominent vlogger Nas Daily is promoting yet another Singapore Government-linked organisation through his channels. While Nas – whose real name is Nuseir Yassin – seems to be friendly with the local authorities, not all Singaporeans are his fans.
Nas, who has a worldwide following thanks to his daily minute-long videos, first drew backlash in Singapore when he visited the country for the first time in 2018. Singaporeans felt that the upbeat videos he made about the nation do not capture the reality of living here.
Nas then sparked a massive uproar when he lashed out at Singaporeans, calling them “crybabies,” after he was criticised for calling Singapore an “almost perfect country” in one such video.
Interestingly, Nas’ videos during his first trip here led some to believe that he is sponsored by the Government to come to the country and make videos praising the nation. An impassioned Nas responded to the speculation then and rebutted that his Singapore videos “are 100% not sponsored by anyone”.
Revealing that he “came here by myself, spent my own money, to make my own videos about your country”, Nas added that it is “disheartening to see people discredit my work because of unfounded allegations”. He firmly emphasised then that his videos were not made for “any government, company or tourism board”.
Then, a few weeks later, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) – a statutory board under the Singapore Government’s Ministry of Communications and Information – announced that Nas will be partnering with them for the Singapore Media Festival, where he will speak and “mentor some videomakers in Singapore”.
Nas then went on to work with the labour movement’s NTUC Income. Fronting an NTUC Income’s advertising campaign about retirement, Nas helped the Government-linked organisation promote the company’s insurance products.
In early 2019, Nas revealed that he is moving to Singapore, along with his partner and his entire company. While some Singaporeans welcomed Nas to Singapore, several others were not so happy and said that his decision proves speculation that he was so effusive in his praise for Singapore during his first trip due to an ulterior motive.
Criticism against Nas did not end after he moved to Singapore. Nas irked Singaporeans yet again when he announced that he wishes to “hire a Vietnamese person” for his team in Singapore. The Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) got in touch with Nas after he put out the job vacancy.
Speculation that he broke circuit breaker rules also arose when he did an outdoor video shoot in public, back in May. The Government said that Nas and his team were not in violation of the measures that were put in place to flatten the COVID-19 infection curve since they “had applied for, and received a Time-Limited Exemption (TLE) to conduct the filming.”
Despite the Government’s assurance, netizens continued to criticise Nas and asked whether the vlogger was also exempted from wearing a mask in public since he could be seen bare-faced with his mask pulled down to his chin in several shots of the video that was shot outdoors.
Although not all Singaporeans are so open to Nas, the authorities appear to still enjoy working with him. The National Youth Council (NYC) – the national co-ordinating body for youth affairs in Singapore, that is under the Government’s Ministry for Culture, Community and Youth – is the latest to work with Nas’ company, Nas Studios.
Nas Studios recently promoted the story of a Singaporean youth who turned the COVID-19 situation into an opportunity. The social media post directed followers to NYC and used the ‘SGUnited’ and ‘SingaporeTogether’ hashtags that the Government frequently uses.