SINGAPORE: A Singapore woman has been met with brickbats online after she posted a photo she took of a passerby in Australia and cast aspersions on the person because of the way she was dressed.

Facebook user Esther Lim took to the Complaint Singapore page to express her distaste with the way a stranger she spotted in Perth, Australia was dressed. The stranger, who was clearly unaware that she was being filmed, was wearing boots, leggings, and a sports bra.

Revealing that she is a Singaporean overseas, Esther wrote that the stranger she saw was “walking the street showing off her body stomach hips in the winter cold weather”. Commenting that “all the western people keep going near the Asian people,” in what appears to be a xenophobic tone, she added: “…this type of people the brain wire spoilt already.”

Instead of receiving support, Esther drew intense criticism online.

Several Singaporeans slammed her for being a “kaypoh,” or busybody, accusing her of being unnecessarily intrusive and disrespectful by filming the stranger without her consent and making such derogatory comments.

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Facebook user Fuchsia FS said, “This is not right, posting her picture, describing and talking behind her,” while another commenter, Abby, added: “That’s bloody rude of you to take a photo of her in order to mock her.”

The fact that Esther dared to comment on a foreigner in their own country did not sit well with some netizens. Facebook user Valerie Woo pointed out: “If you are in HER country you respect HER way of life. Not the reverse.”

A number of netizens also quipped that Esther is the one who needs help, not the stranger. Facebook user Parzival CT said: “I think YOU are the one ‘brain wire spoilt’. Please keep your thoughts to yourself. She can wear whatever she likes.”

Another netizen Yong Yi Ning added, “Who are you to call out someone’s outfit when you are in their land? Angmo don’t see it as a problem, why should you?”

One commenter, Alexanlea Rodriguez, quipped, “U went abroad just to judge people’s way of dressing? Such an expensive kaypo u are,” while another individual, Colin Samuel Lim, questioned: “Go other country respect other people la , that’s so basic. How will it be if a foreigner mock you here?”

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Several netizens urged Esther to mind her own business and to refrain from posting on the group if she has nothing valuable to contribute. Some also warned Esther that she may get into trouble with such posts.

Facebook user Masan Kosaka cautioned: “In the worst case scenario you can be arrested for molester behavior by taking a woman’s picture depending on that country’s law.”

Criticizing someone for their attire, especially in a different cultural context, shows a lack of respect and understanding of diverse perspectives on self-expression and body image. What may be considered inappropriate or unconventional in one culture might be perfectly normal in another.

Regardless of Esther’s motivations behind her post, it is clear that Singaporeans largely uphold respect for personal choices, affirming that everyone has the right to present themselves as they wish without fear of judgment or ridicule.