Rapper Subhas Nair set to plead guilty to attempting to promote ill will over religion, race
SINGAPORE: Local rapper Subhas Nair is set to plead guilty to attempting to promote feelings of ill will among different groups on grounds of religion and race, a court heard on Tuesday (Feb 22).
The 29-year-old, whose full name was given as Subhas Govin Prabhakar Nair in charge sheets, was given a date to plead guilty on Apr 29.
Nair faces four charges of attempting to promote feelings of ill will on grounds of religion and race on four occasions between July 2019 and March 2021.
The earliest incident was on Jul 29, 2019, when Nair published a rap video online. He was given a two-year conditional warning by the police on Aug 14, 2019 over this incident. The warning indicated that if he reoffended, he could be prosecuted for this incident on top of any fresh offences.
On Jul 25, 2020, Nair allegedly wrote on Instagram: "If two Malay Muslims made a video promoting Islam and saying the kind of hateful things these Chinese Christians said, ISD would have been at the door before they even hit ‘upload’.”
This was purportedly in response to a video of Chinese Christians who made hateful comments against another community.
The third incident was in relation to a fatal brawl at Orchard Towers in July 2019. Nair is accused of attempting to promote feelings of ill will between Chinese and Indians by claiming on Oct 15, 2020 that one of the accused - a Chinese man - involved in the death of an Indian man received lenient treatment by authorities because of his race.
Nair allegedly wrote on Instagram: “Calling out racism and Chinese privilege = two year conditional warning and smear campaign in the media. Actually conspiring to murder an Indian man = Half the sentence and ‘You’re having a baby soon right? Boy or girl?’ Do you actually think a brown person would get asked these type of questions? This place is just not for us”.
On Mar 11, 2021, while Nair was already being investigated by the police over the Orchard Towers comments, he allegedly attempted to promote feelings of ill will between Chinese and Indians again by displaying a cartoon containing the same text he wrote on Instagram over the Orchard Towers incident.
Nair was charged for the earliest July 2019 offence, the rap video, as he had breached the conditions of his warning by allegedly committing the other fresh offences.
He turned up for his charging in November with his sister Preeti Nair, better known as Preetipls, and pointed to an image on his shirt of drug offender Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, who remains on death row.
Nair is represented by lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam and is out on bail of S$10,000.
If convicted of attempting to promote feelings of ill will between different groups on grounds of religion or race, Nair could be jailed for up to three years and fined per charge.