SINGAPORE: Rapper Subhas Nair has been removed from an upcoming musical documentary on CNA titled ROAR because of his involvement in an “offensive” rap video targeting Chinese Singaporeans, which is being investigated by Singapore police, the news organisation said on Wednesday (Jul 31).
The three-minute rap video, which was fronted by Subhas and his sister and YouTube performer Preeti Nair – known online as Preetipls – features the pair rapping a stream of four-letter words and using vulgar gestures targeted at Chinese Singaporeans. According to Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, the rap video was meant “to make minorities angry with Chinese Singaporeans”.
The video was posted on Facebook, uploaded on YouTube and a portion of it on Instagram. Singapore authorities on Tuesday asked the online platforms to take down the video.
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Mr Shanmugam said: "When you use four-letter words, vulgar language, attack another race, put it out in public, we have to draw the line and say not acceptable.”
According to Section 298 of the Singapore Penal Code, it is an offence to “utter words with deliberate intent to wound the religious or racial feelings of any person”.
In a statement, CNA said that it “strongly objects to all such offensive content which threatens racial harmony and will not associate with individuals who intentionally create such content. As a result, CNA has removed Mr Nair from its upcoming musical documentary ROAR and taken down the articles related to his involvement in this programme".
The ROAR documentary was going to feature four Singapore musicians, including the 27-year-old Subhas, writing some new music for National Day. The documentary featuring the other three musicians – Benjamin Kheng, Aisyah Aziz and Wang Weiliang – will continue with its planned premiere on Aug 3 and 4.
The offensive rap video which Subhas fronted was a response to a controversial advertisement by NETS promoting E-Pay. The advertisement sparked a backlash online because Chinese actor Dennis Chew was dressed up as four characters, including a Malay woman and an Indian man. To portray these characters, Chew’s skin was made up to look darker.