Ostensibly shot to appeal to Singaporeans who are not Chinese, property agents and couple Jasen and Shiqi have since made their video private on Youtube, which means you can only view if you have permission, following the backlash that ensued.
The video was made in Punggol Waterway to showcase a 5-room flat, which is only open to non-Chinese Singaporeans, due to the Ethnic Integration Policy. It also showcases a stunning lack of sensitivity toward a minority group and a dearth of self-awareness in general. Who is this video for? What will people think? How about the family who are hoping to sell their flat – have they seen the video?
Their failure to anticipate the reaction their video has garnered is especially puzzling, given what they do for a living. After all, as real estate agents for one of the largest real estate companies in Singapore, Propnex, Jasen and Shiqi must meet a lot of people.
What goes on the internet stays on the internet, of course. And so on 12th September, the video was uploaded to Youtube by Twitter user @skeletonjacket. She explains that she uploaded it because she wanted people to see the video but did not want the couple to gain any views on their channel.
The reaction was swift.
People were justly annoyed and some, outraged.
Some chimed in with their own experiences with racism living as a person belonging to a minority group in Singapore.
Some wondered just how many people were involved in the making of the video and how is it that no one thought that it might be problematic.
As of the time of writing, PropNex has not issued any statement of response, nor has Jasen and Shiqi.
What do you think of Jasen and Shiqi’s promotional video? Do you think they should issue a statement or let enough time pass until everybody forgets that this atrocity ever happened? Update (15 September) The couple has since issued a statement when contacted by Coconuts Singapore. In it, they issue an apology and admitted to “having done wrong”. In the same statement, they also said that they had put in “a considerable amount of time” to practice the Malay and Indian phrases used in the video as well as what they called “dance moves”. ?
Also, they revealed that “they had the approval and consent of the property’s owner to proceed with their marketing plan”, though of course we have no way of knowing just how much of the plan the owners were privy to. After all, a dance routine sounds pretty innocuous on its own. I mean, what could go wrong? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯