A Chinese actor was paid to paint his face brown to represent a Malay and Indian in Singapore. He was not punished. The company he advertised for was not punished. The advertising company who came up with the ad was not punished. Instead, a pair of Indian siblings who spoke up against it were punished.
Many wondered how the ad could have passed through so many people and levels of checks to be approved. Others questioned why the company E-Pay was not censured. In fact, the Advertising Standards Authority of Singapore (ASAS) clarified that while the ad was in “poor taste” it did not explicitly put down any ethnic groups or employ harmful stereotypes.
Just take a look at the list of members who are part of the ASAS council then you will know why they think brownface is acceptable.
Professor Ang Peng Hwa (Chairman)
Mr John Ng Lee Chye (Vice-Chairman)
Associate Professor Eleanor Wong (Past Chair)
Mr Ivan Chong (Past Chair, CASE Volunteer)
Mr Loy York Jiun (Consumers Association of Singapore)
Mr Bryan Tan (Consumers Association of Singapore)
Mr Bernard Chan (Association of Accredited Advertising Agents, Singapore)
Mr Ignatius Low (Association of Media Owners of Singapore)
Ms Lisa Watson (Data-driven Marketing Association of Singapore)
Ms Ng Ying Lu (Health Sciences Authority)
Ms Ginny Goh (Infocomm Media Development Authority)
Ms Chan Yu Juin (M1 Limited)
Ms Angela Chia (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
Mr Keith Tan (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
Ms Shirley Pang (Mediacorp Pte Ltd)
Prof John Lim (Ministry of Health)
Adj. Associate Professor Raymond Chua (Ministry of Health)
Ms Winnie Lim (Monetary Authority of Singapore)
Ms Agnes Lee (Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore)
Mr Chow Phee Chat (Singapore Advertisers’ Association)
Ms Christina Teo (Singapore Association of Pharmaceutical Industries)
Dr Lee Yik Voon (Singapore Medical Association)
Ms Seah Peik Ching (Singapore Food Agency)
Ms Christine Rio (Singapore Press Holdings)
Mr Clifton Lee (Singapore Press Holdings)
Ms Lam Wy-ning (Singapore Press Holdings)
Ms Grace Paul (Singapore Telecommunications Limited)
Mr Tim Goodchild (StarHub Limited)
Notice the lack of Malay or Indian representation in the council? Now we know why.
#MalaysunderrepresentedinSingapore #MalaysunderrepresentedinASAS #racistASAS