Singapore — Responding to comparisons trending online of how the police dealt with the reports lodged against her and Workers’ Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan, social media influencer Xiaxue has asserted that she cannot be more “privileged” than Ms Khan given the wealth of the latter’s father, former presidential hopeful Farid Khan.
The police announced on Thursday (Sept 17) that they will not take action against Xiaxue over a social media post about race, just after they had issued a stern warning to Ms Khan over two posts about race and religion.
The investigation against Xiaxue, whose name is Wendy Cheng, began after an individual made a police report against her in response to her criticism of Ms Khan.
Ms Khan came into the news in June when she was announced as one of the new WP candidates in the 2020 General Election. In the middle of the campaign period, some citizens made police reports against Ms Khan over two of her previous social media posts.
In the posts, in February 2018 and May 2020, Ms Khan allegedly claimed that the authorities discriminated against citizens on the basis of race and religion. She publicly apologised for the remarks in the posts after the police reports were made and the WP stood by its election candidate.
Re-posting Ms Khan’s posts on her Instagram story, Xiaxue branded her a “racist” and “toxic woman”. She added that Ms Khan was trying to stir up civil strife by bring American-style politics to Singapore.
Xiaxue drew intense backlash over her criticism of Ms Khan. One individual, Mr Vignesh Sankar Iyer, dug up a 2010 tweet she made that seemed to target migrant workers. The tweet, which has since been deleted, said: “Coz they molest people and f!@# our maids and leer at girls and flood little India!! Yeah I’m stereotyping, but f!@# u if u say its not true.”
Mr Vignesh filed a police report on July 6 against Xiaxue over the tweet and accused her of stirring up anti-Indian sentiments. He published a video online of him making the police report and the video went viral, drawing hundreds of thousands of views.
The hashtag “Punish Xiaxue” started to trend online and the influencer hit back at the “woke” critics who were after her. As public outrage refused to die down, Xiaxue locked her blog and Twitter account and filed a protection order and harassment suit against the online mob.
On Thursday (Sept 17), the police said they had consulted the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which advised no further action in relation to these posts as the elements of an offence had not been established beyond a reasonable doubt.
The statement on the Xiaxue case came just after the police announced that they had given a stern warning to Ms Khan over her online posts.
Ms Khan, who was elected as part of the WP team in Sengkang GRC in the July elections, was given a stern warning for “the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race” and for “an additional offence of contempt by scandalising the court”.
Following this, comparisons of the decisions in the case of Xiaxue and Ms Khan began to trend online. Xiaxue responded to the continuing backlash in her Instagram story. (See below).
Meanwhile, Ms Khan said in response to the police statement that a warning had been issued against her, that she never intended to cause social unrest or division and that her passion for minority causes led her to say things in a way that may have caused hurt to certain groups.
She apologised once again in a statement published on her Facebook page.
During the General Elections, a police report was made against two posts I made, one on 2 February 2018 and one on 17…