Meet the dark-skinned newscasters of yesteryears

Aug 17, 2021 | 🚀 Fathership AI

In a radio programme aired on the BBC World Service over the weekend, former BBC journalist Sharanjit Leyl said in a segment on racial harmony in Singapore that she had struggled to get hired at a local news broadcaster some 20 years ago.

The local broadcaster at the time was known as the Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), later renamed to Mediacorp.

"Had I been born Chinese, my life would have been a lot easier. It started with applying for jobs when I returned from North America in the 1990s, armed with a master's degree and broadcast journalism experience in Canada. I struggled to get my foot in the door at the local news broadcaster," Sharanjit said on the show.

She also spoke about her experience working for an American financial news agency that provided currency updates to a local television channel, and said of the channel: "They told my bosses they didn't want me doing TV updates for them."

She later "confronted the man who (now) runs the newsroom of that same TV channel, who ironically happens to be Indian Singaporean" on the topic of Indian and Malay presenters. According to her, the man replied that viewers "didn't like watching darker-skinned presenters".

Mediacorp said these comments appear to point to the company and its editor-in-chief Mr Walter Fernandez.

"We would like to clarify that Mr Fernandez did not make such a statement," said Mediacorp.

Meet the dark-skinned newscasters of yesteryears

1. Shobi Pereira

Shobi Pereira joined the SBC in the early 80s. She has been a broadcaster and newscaster both locally and overseas, starting with the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK), Cable News Network (CNN) in USA, and Bloomberg LP in Japan.

2. Sushila Krishnan

Sushila Krishnan was the Executive Editor and Presenter at SBC in 1989 to 2011. She was the Presenter & Producer of ChannelNewsAsia's (CNA) Money Mind and also a former News Anchor. She is now an Executive Producer with Mediacorp, a position she has held since 2014.

3. Vidya Shankar Aiyar

Vidya Shankar Aiyar was a former news anchor with CNA who was later convicted of molesting his colleague and ex-girlfriend Jennifer Alejandro - another CNA presenter - in 2003.

4. Anisa Hassan

Anisa Hassan was a journalist with the Singapore Press Holdings in 1995 before going on to be a broadcast journalist and news presenter for Mediacorp in 1996 until 2004. She was talent-spotted to be one of 10 English news presentors to anchor the newly-launched CNA in 2000.

5. Rita Zahara

Rita Zahara was a presenter with Mediacorp from 1994 to 2004. In 2003, she became a broadcast journalist with CNA until 2007.

6. Nicolette 'Nikki' Rappa

Nicolette 'Nikki' Rappa was a newscaster for Television Corporation of Singapore (TCS) from 1988 to 1996. She later joined the banking industry and currently works as a communications professional for United Overseas Bank (UOB).

7. Neena Mairata

Neena Mairata begin her career as a news presenter for Malaysia's TV3 before joining CNA in 1999 until 2007 as a broadcast journalist.

Former CNA and Mediacorp staff pokes holes into Sharanjit Leyl's claims

According to a former CNA and Mediacorp staff, claims by Sharanjit that the national broadcaster does not hire "dark-skinned" people are unfounded.

Former broadcast journalist and current affairs producer for CNA (2000 - 2006) Tanny Chia recalled how there were "at least three Indian news readers, two of whom had darker skin (than Sharanjit Leyl)."

Another former broadcast journalist also shared her experience. Bridgette See, who worked with Mediacorp from 2000 to 2004 as a reporter recounted how she worked with Nenna Mairata in the late 90s:

Mediacorp's response

Mediacorp said in a statement that it is unable to comment on what had transpired then without specific details from her, but stressed that it is committed to equal opportunities and diversity in its workforce. This includes its on-air and on-camera talents, as well as behind-the-scenes crew and corporate employees.

"Our hiring policies and practices are based on merit, i.e. having the relevant skill sets that the role requires," said the statement.

Mediacorp added that its dedicated news channel, CNA, has a diverse group of presenters.

Some 30 per cent of CNA news presenters are from minority groups, it said. As for the channel's documentaries, specials and commissioned programmes which feature a presenter over the past two years, 60 per cent were presented by a person from a minority group.

Across the entire CNA newsroom - including reporters, producers and editors - 40 per cent are from minority groups, the broadcaster added.

On Thursday (Aug 12), Ms Sharanjit told ST that she and Mr Fernandez differed on what was discussed in the conversation they had. She also said her comments were not about reporters or producers but specifically about presenters.

In response, a Mediacorp spokesman said: “We trust that our earlier statement addresses these allegations. We have no further comment.”

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警员死亡案: 种族歧视字眼并非针对他,除一 名上司 "不专业",其他说法皆不实

Feb 07, 2024 | 🚀 Fathership AI

新加坡警察部队(SPF)已向内政部(MHA)提交了有关警官尤瓦拉贾(Uvaraja S/O Gopal)自杀事件的所有调查结果。

2024 年 2 月 6 日,内政部长尚穆根在国会公布了调查结果,他在部长声明中说,尤瓦拉贾对新加坡警察部队的一些指控属实。





2023 年 7 月 21 日,尤瓦拉贾被发现在义顺组屋楼下一动不动,没有生命迹象。


尤瓦拉贾在帖子中描述了他在工作场所受到欺凌和排挤的情况,声称他遭受种族歧视,并经历了 "恶毒的工作文化"。


尚穆根说,警方记录显示,尤瓦拉贾确实在 2015 年提出过投诉,当时也进行了内部调查。



他指出,这些言论是否针对 尤瓦拉贾并不重要,重要的是 "这些言论过去和现在都是不可接受的"。


尤瓦拉贾的上司向团队明确表示,不能使用这种语言,即使是开玩笑也不行,说这种话的警员立即向 尤瓦拉贾道了歉。


尤瓦拉贾的上司提出可以对这名警员提出正式投诉,但 尤瓦拉贾 拒绝进一步投诉。



尤瓦拉贾声称他的上级在 2019 年撕毁了他的请假单,并将这一行为的视频上传到了团队的群聊中。



调查显示,尤瓦拉贾的上司告诉他,他 "给整个团队带来了不便",但尤瓦拉贾没有撤回休假申请,并在私人聊天中要求上司结束谈话。

这位上司随后录下了自己撕碎 尤瓦拉贾请假单的视频,并将他这样做的视频上传到了团队聊天室。







尤瓦拉贾还声称,2021 年,他揭发了被他抓到吸电子烟的警官,但案件被 "掩盖 "了。




在 2023 年 1 月的另一起事件中,尤瓦拉贾举报他的一些同事在警署吸烟。




尤瓦拉贾声称,他从未得到过上级的良好评价,而且由于 "人力问题",上级不允许他调离岗位。



在 9 年时间里,尤瓦拉贾被调往 6 个不同的工作单位,尚穆根说,这是相当多的职位调动。


调查还发现,他的工作能力获得公平的评估。他还被授予 Covid-19贡献奖章。

同事 "抵制 "他的婚礼并非事实

据尚穆根称,尤瓦拉贾声称同事们 "抵制 "他的婚礼的说法也不属实。






他还因在 2023 年 7 月一次不服从命令,而受到内部纪律调查。他当时拿了病假却离开家里。


2023 年 4 月,尤瓦拉贾又一次接受内部纪律调查,原因是他不服从命令,未完成工作且擅离职守。当被要求返回完成任务时,他也拒绝服从。

每年休病假超过 50 天

尚穆根指出,2016 年、2017 年、2021 年、2022 年和 2023 年,乌瓦拉贾分别休了 70 天、56 天、59 天、80 天和 60 天的病假。

2015 年、2016 年和 2022 年,他还休了 100 多天的无薪假。

尚穆根表示,警察部队为满足 尤瓦拉贾的需求,包括他的休假和医疗需求,付出不少努力。








不过,对于 尤瓦拉贾的案件,他说调查结果与 尤瓦拉贾在帖子中的指控 "截然不同"。


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