SINGAPORE – A Young People’s Action Party (YP) member who posted “insensitive” remarks – in his own words – on his Facebook page has resigned, following an online furore.Mr Jason Neo also issued an apology on his Facebook page yesterday.Mr Jason Neo had posted a religiously and racially offensive caption to a photograph which he uploaded onto the social networking website. The posting went viral recently.
In his apology, he said the post was out of a “moment’s folly” and did not, in any way, represent the view of the PAP or the YP. “I hereby offer those within our Muslim community and anyone else offended my most sincere and unreserved apology,” he added.
Mr Jason Neo, a volunteer at Meet-the-People sessions in Sembawang who joined YP in June, had posted the offensive caption and photo sometime in February. Mr Jason Neo’s action was condemned by YP leaders, including YP chairman Teo Ser Luck who wrote on his Facebook page: “We will have to take action. Such acts must be condemned.”
In a statement on YP’s Facebook page yesterday, its vice-chairman Mr Zaqy Mohamad, reiterated: “YP’s and PAP’s position is clear. Racism has no place in Singapore, and certainly not in the ranks the PAP. The party has always upheld the core values of meritocracy and multiracialism. As a minority and from a race and belief targeted in the post, I found it very offensive, and I am certainly disappointed that it came from one of our activists.”
This is not the first time anyone has hit the headlines for the wrong reasons over something they said over a social media platform. Today it is Young PAP Member, Jason Jason Neo’s turn. Jason Neo has resigned from the People’s Action Party (PAP) after one of his online posts sparked accusations of racism.
Mr Jason Neo, 30, had posted a religiously and racially offensive caption to a photograph which he uploaded on his Facebook page. The posting showed a photo he had taken of a school bus with Malay children from Huda Kindergarten, in Woodlands, dressed in their uniform which includes traditional Malay headwear. His caption said: ‘Bus filled with young terrorist trainees?’
Highly racist and offensive caption – YPAP member?
A TOC reader, Mr Noor Firdaus was so irked by the photo above which was captioned with a highly racist and offensive remark that he wrote in to a few MPs requesting that they ask Mr Jason Neo to take that picture down. Mr Firdaus claims that the picture with the highly offensive caption was posted on the Facebook of a Young PAP member Jason Neo.
Mr Firdaus said that MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC Zaqy Mohamed eventually replied to him saying that he will advise Mr Jason Neo to take that picture down.
Mr Firdaus sent in his communication with Mr Jason Neo and Mr Zaqy with the offensive picture to TOC, requesting that we draw attention to it on our website. He hopes that through this highlighting, people will learn to be more sensitive of the of the people of various ethnicity that live here, and also develop greater tolerance.
Reaction to Offensive Caption by Jason Neo
Yesterday, I received an e-mail from Firdaus alerting me about this posting made by Jason Neo that was insensitive. Understandably, many in the Malay/Muslim community took offence. While we conducted our investigations to speak with Mr Jason Neo, I gave an interim reply to Firdaus (e-mail thread below). Our intent was not to defend Jason Neo’s actions, but to be fair and allow him the opportunity to explain himself.
YP’s and PAP’s position is clear. Racism has no place in Singapore, and certainly not in the ranks the PAP. The Party has always upheld the core values of meritocracy and multiracialism. As a minority and from a race and belief targeted in the post, I found it very offensive and I am certainly disappointed that it came from one of our activists.