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Friday, July 06, 2018

When pulling the victim card backfires

Two women warned for making 'inflammatory' race-related comments on Facebook: Police

"Two Singaporean women were on Friday (Jul 6) issued a warning for making inflammatory comments online, after they posted remarks on Facebook alleging that members of one race looked down on people of another race.

The women, both 28 years old, were investigated for posting comments that were "prejudicial to the maintenance of racial and religious harmony in Singapore", said the police in a news release.

The Facebook comments were sparked by an incident in October 2017, when the two women were spotted praying at a fire escape stairwell of a shopping mall.

According to the police, the security personnel who found the women had waited for them to finish their prayers before explaining that the fire escape stairwell needed to be kept unobstructed for safety reasons.

The security personnel advised the women to pray in a designated prayer room in the vicinity.

However, the women returned to the same stairwell the next day to conduct their prayers.

"When a security personnel again advised them to use the designated prayer room, one of them demanded to meet the security supervisor, and subsequently accused the supervisor of being racist by disallowing them to pray there," the police said.

"After the encounter, the two women posted remarks on Facebook alleging that members of one race looked down on members of another race."

The police added: "The allegations the two women made were serious, but baseless. Such allegations can over time affect our racial and religious harmony. Obstructing a fire escape stairwell is also serious."

A decision was made, in consultation with the Attorney-General Chambers, to issue the women with a 12-month conditional warning, for the offences of making inflammatory comments online and for criminal trespass.

"Police decided to exercise discretion in their favour and administer a warning instead of prosecuting them," said authorities.

The offences will be resurfaced for consideration if they re-offend within the 12-month period."


Related:

Muslim sisters who call out “racist” security guard who allegedly prohibited them from praying at mall stairwell face backlash from Malay netizens

"When twin sisters Syahidah and Hirah Rostam posted about an incident where they were allegedly prohibited from using a stairwell at Alexandra Central Mall by a “racist” security guard working there, they received widespread criticism instead of support mostly from members of their own Malay and Muslim community.

On Wednesday (25 Oct), Syahidah shared on Facebook that she and her sister had unfurled their prayer mat at a stairwell at the mall and had begun praying silently at the staircase when a “racist” Indian security supervisor allegedly tried to get his Chinese and Malay security staff stop them from praying.

The sisters also shot videos showing them confronting the security guards. In the videos, Syahidah and Hirah can be seen shouting at the guards.

Syahidah added that in her and her twin’s 29 years, they “have always been doing prayers at any staircase in shopping malls or hospitals be it public or private ones.”

She claimed that non-Indian security guards usually allow the sisters to pray at staircases and added:

“Everytime Hirah & I encountered with police, security guards or authorities, they are always Indians who look down on us Malays or Muslims.
“I am aware most Indians look down on us Malays & Malays are an inferior race to them. They are capable of teaching & influencing people close to them to be superior or unapologetic about mistakes done.
“This is what I feel everytime Indian security guards, police & authorities speak to us Malays. Or when Indians who are not close to me or extended friends who are Indians treat me.
“Like we Malays are nothing and they are superior as ever.”


While Syahidah’s post has been shared over 800 times on Facebook, countless netizens commenting on her post have criticised her and her twin for having a bad attitude, for playing the race card and supposedly pretending to be victims.

Netizens also commented that the sisters could have prayed at IKEA Alexandra, which is right next door and has a Musholla for Muslims to freely use. Additionally, the nearest mosque to Alexandra Central Mall is an 12 minute bus ride or 6 minute car ride away.

Interestingly, most of these criticisms came from Malay and Muslim netizens"
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