Singapore People’s Party chairman Jose Raymond said yesterday that he stands by his views that the latest series of posters by one of the country’s longest running campaigns had racially profiled citizens.
The Singapore Kindness Movement posters dedicated to cleaners had depicted a dark skinned man with wavy hair named Siva, a woman wearing a hijab named Rosnah, and a fair skinned woman named Florence. Raymond told Coconuts that he still believes that those posters had propagated racial prejudice after the movement defended its campaign saying that it did not single out any particular race.
“My views on the matter haven’t changed despite the latest statement by [the Singapore Kindness Movement],” he said, days after calling out the posters online on Tuesday, which also drew others to echo his sentiments.
“1. Were all four posters put up at the same locations so members of the public could see all four at the same time and draw some reference or context? 2. Did SKM engage stakeholders prior to the release of the campaign? If yes, how many and what were the results of the engagement. 3. Did SKM embark on a public announcement of its campaign prior to putting the posters up?” Raymond added.
The posters were part of the Singapore Kindness Movement’s “Clean Toilet Project” campaign, which it said was meant to remind Singaporeans to be kind to cleaners and take responsibility for their own cleanliness in public places. Posters have been put up at the Sengkang General Hospital since June, and also made the cleaners appear to speak in broken English. One read: “Is it people think the floor is rubbish bin?”
Campaign organizers said yesterday that some people had misinterpreted their posters and slammed those for spreading negativity.
“The posters featured different races in the same frontline occupation, and were intended to be viewed as a series and not individually,” Singapore Kindness Movement’s statement read. “However, we note that there are individuals who may have taken our posters out of context to deliberately propagate misunderstanding and negative feelings in our society. These malicious acts can erode the precious harmony that we have built over the years.”
Raymond expressed his disappointment over that statement even after he said he had spoken to the movement’s General Secretary William Wan about his concerns.
“It is unfortunate that [the Singapore Kindness Movement] has made a statement to the effect that the people who raised it were trying to sow discord, especially after Dr William Wan shared with me on the phone that he understood my position on the issue,” he told Coconuts.
Raymond only shared the poster of the Siva character to his Facebook page on Tuesday when he questioned why the campaign had used a particular race.
“1. What’s with the racial stereotyping and prejudice with this poster? Shocking. 2. Why use a particular race and depict him as a toilet cleaner, and assign him a name at that? Sickening. 3. Why is it the race profiled in the poster is also showing poor language skills? Baffling. Wrong on so many levels. Again,” he wrote.
1. What’s with the racial stereotyping and prejudice with this poster? Shocking.
2. Why use a particular race and…
The Singapore Kindness Movement has been around since 1997.
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