Singaporean socialite contrite after sharing racially charged nightmare

At left, Jamie Chua in an Instagram post from March. At right, Screenshot of her Instagram story. Photos: @Ec24m/Instagram
At left, Jamie Chua in an Instagram post from March. At right, Screenshot of her Instagram story. Photos: @Ec24m/Instagram

The barrage of news about COVID-19 infecting thousands of migrant workers apparently haunted a socialite’s dreams, who apologized yesterday after her racist nightmare recounted on Instagram drew flak.

Jamie Chua yesterday took down an Instagram post in which she had shared her “disturbing nightmare” about being terrorized by “Indian workers” rushing into her home. She has since apologized for being “insensitive and ignorant” and donated to fundraising campaigns aimed at helping migrant workers affected by the pandemic. 

“Hi all, I would like to apologise for a post I made earlier today,” she wrote in a story posted Tuesday.

With COVID-19 now slashing flights all over the world, the 44-year-old has complained she has the “blues” because she is unable to travel around the world. Chua said she meant to shed light on her mental health by sharing her nightmare.

“While my intention was solely to share how this pandemic has taken a toll on my mental well-being, I realise that it was insensitive and ignorant. I have been reading your comments and feedback, and I appreciate that many of you were able to explain and show me where I had went wrong. I will definitely do better,” she continued.

Chua is a former flight attendant who became widely known after marrying Indonesian tycoon Nurdian Cuaca. She made headlines some years back when she sought S$450,000 in monthly alimony upon their divorce.

In her original Instagram story post, Chua had detailed her nightmare in a caption for a photo of a cup of coffee.

“I’m sooooo tired today. Woke up at 3.47am from a disturbing nightmare, dreamt of the Indian workers dorm and they were all rushing into my house. Been so affected by the recent cases. I’ve suffering from mild anxiety,” the caption read.

Her post backfired as followers slammed her remark as thoughtless, especially since thousands of migrant workers in Singapore have not been allowed to leave their dormitories, where around 30 outbreaks have emerged.

She deleted that post hours later and then reposted the same photo with a caption that read: “I think I may need another coffee to stay awake today.”

Netizens did not hold back from criticizing her. 

“Don’t worry Jamie, they will be the one having nightmares if they see your plastic face !

No amount of coffee is gonna help them !” Facebook user Jeremy Lee said on the socio-political Facebook page Wake Up, Singapore.

“Got money no class. But at least she is not afraid to be politically incorrect,” Facebook user Joanna Chia said

In her apology, Chua expressed empathy for the migrant workers, posting screenshots of the donations she made to campaigns led by the nonprofit Ray of Hope and a separate one led by social media personality Preetipls.

“Migrant workers are responsible for building Singapore. We should never undermine them, nor their efforts. This period must be incredibly difficult for them and I have therefore chosen two charities (see my next stories) that support our migrant workers during this difficult period,” she wrote.

“This has been a big learning lesson for me, and I hope that this will serve as a reminder to be more sensitive and thoughtful with our words,” she added. 

Other stories you should check out:
Filthy, cramped dorms come to light as virus afflicts Singapore’s migrant workers
Pay it forward: Singaporeans urged to donate S$600 payouts to those who (really) need them
Singapore’s COVID-snitches harass and shame strangers in racially charged videos
Singapore extends COVID-19 lockdown until June 1
Heehee: We read Ho Ching’s Facebook riddle so you don’t have to

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