Former president of AWARE implies it's okay for Pritam to lie for the greater good

Feb 17, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
Former president of closet feminazi group AWARE has spoken out against the condemnation of Workers' Party secretary-general Pritam Singh.

Dana Lam, who was President of the women's rights group from 2000-2002 and from 2009-2010, beseeched the government to stop "prosecuting Mr Pritam Singh" in a Facebook post published yesterday (Feb 16).

According to her, Pritam's contribution in Parliament and conduuct under pressure is "beyond reproach" and that the continued spotlight on Pritam is "jeorpardising the good standing of an active citizen and decent parliamentarian..."





Dana's post follows the Committee of Privileges report that recommended the leader of the opposition to be referred to the Public Prosecutor for futher investigations, "with a view to considering if criminal proceedings ought to be instituted".

Dana: Police bad, Pritam good

In making her point about Pritam as an upstanding politician, Dana threw shade at the Police by implying that they are often insensitive when dealing with sexual assault victims.

"This (police insensitivity) is not an uncommon complaint as anyone who has worked with (the) victims can testity," she said.

She added, "In fact, it has been the work of generations of activists to bring attention to this and to make things better by offering sensitivity training to the police force."

More puzzlingly, Dana seems to drive home the point that former MP Raeesah Khan's lie is grounded in truth, therefore, Pritam's decision to withhold knowledge of Raeesah's dishonesty from Parliament is not as serious a transgression. She suggests that Pritam's actions was a necessary evil for the greater good.

Ironically, she did not mention the fact that Pritam had used mental health issues as a smear against Raeesah, to explain away his own conduct and lies to the COP.

Netizens slam Dana Lim for political bias

Not everyone agreed with Dana. Some netizens called her out for placing her political bias before the rights of women and ignoring the fact that Pritam lied under oath.







Background

The committee had on Thursday released its final report on a complaint made against former WP Member of Parliament Raeesah Khan for lying in Parliament about a sexual assault case. It recommended that she be fined S$35,000 for telling a false anecdote in Parliament on Aug 3 last year and repeating it on Oct 4 that year.

The committee also recommended that Mr Pritam, who is Leader of the Opposition, as well as Mr Faisal be referred to the Public Prosecutor for possible criminal charges, saying it was “satisfied” that they were untruthful while testifying under oath.


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This commentator thinks MCI ad should not have featured poor Malays

May 12, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
A Hari Raya advertisement by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) was 'cancelled' by certain netizens online for depicting lower income Malays according to reality.

"Message for Syawal", a two-and-a-half-minute video published last month (Apr 30) captures moments in the life of a low-income Malay family living in a rental flat.

Storyline


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"

The video, which is peppered with Malay proverbs, shows the family moving out of their rental flat to a new home several years later where they celebrate Hari Raya.

The father of the family works as a mover while the mother is a housewife.

Their young son, Syawal, skips school to earn extra income for his family before a teacher flags his absence from school to his parents.

The mother in the video later decides to return to work to alleviate her family’s financial difficulties while the father gets a new job.


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"



Why some netizens are outraged

The video sparked backlash online, with some viewers saying that it contained stereotypes about the Malay community.

The stereotypes:
  • The father works as a mover - commonly perceived to be a low-income job
  • The mother is jobless
  • The son plays truant
  • The family lives in a rental flat for low-income earners

Commentator implied that poor Malays shouldn't be portrayed in public to prevent stereotypes


Pictured: Screenshot from Homeground Asia video

A video commentary by The Homeground Asia went further by criticizing how the video propagates the narrative that Malays are poor and lazy, and that the ministry should have created a video that is more relatable to both the less fortunate and the more affluent Malays.

Adi Rahman, one of the interviewees in the video went further by making sweeping assumptions that the ministry lacked cultural intelligence and did not consult the community on the narrative.

Ironically, in talking about inclusivity, Adi implied that the realities of poor Malays should not be shown in public.

For example, his rationale suggested that the video contained characters (the mover, jobless mother and the son who skips school) that contribute to the problem of other races seeing the Malays in a stereotypical and reductive light.

In other words, show the good stuff but not the reality.

Adi even accused the ministry for not consulting the Malays in the vetting of the video narrative.

His accusations were without merit, however, when the Ministry said in a statement (Apr 30) that Malay-Muslim viewers - presumably a focus group - had seen the video prior to its release, and perceived the story to be heart-warming, although some expressed reservations.


Pictured: Adi Rahman - one of the commentators in Homeground Asia video



Stereotyping or masking reality?

The ministry said last month (Apr 30) the video was meant to show "a family’s journey of resilience in facing challenging circumstances and how mutual support and encouragement could nurture the process”.

Other netizens felt it was an overreaction and that low-income families shouldn't be dehumanized in a way that they are removed from the conversation. They felt that the video was a call-to-action for those from the underprivileged to strive for a better life through hard work and seeking help that's already available.

The only missed opportunity in the MCI video was perhaps the suggestion that Malays in low income families living in a rental flat could not celebrate Hari Raya unless they get a flat on their own.

But of course, like Homeground Asia, that is also a sweeping assumption.