Kiss 92 DJs apologise for "racist" comments made about Malays and Indians, that parts of show were taken out of context

Yesterday (11 Jan) Kiss 92‘s morning radio show Maddy, Jason & Arnold in the Morning has reaped a whirlwind after talking on air about a recent study by SingHealth Polyclinics, which had reported – among other findings – that six in 10 Chinese had sufficient sleep, compared with about four in 10 Malays and Indians.
According to listeners who tuned in, the DJs expressed surprise that Chinese people got more sleep, and that Malays and Indians don’t get enough sleep. Then they made remarks that Malays and Indians work less and go out and party, but Chinese people had to send their kids to school and go to work early.
“You know why Malays and Indians get less sleep? It’s because they’ve been raised to have fun, party.“

According to the Kiss 92‘s website Esso is the presenter of Maddy, Jason & Arnold in the Morning.

A lot of netizens took offence on the alleged segment of the talk show and accused the DJs as being racists:

Arturo Siew : Wow, I see the level insensitivity among the Chinese here is really appalling. As a Eurasian who happen to be part Chinese, on behalf, I am very sorry for the minority about what you have to go through here

Dinesh Bora : At best, a poor attempt at race humour. At worst, actual racism and perpetuating stereotypes Indians and Malays have been trying to shake off.

Andy Yeo : I thinks the DJs as a public figures should be more alert and sensitive on joke about races! A few days ago I also sense that their talk on air sound a bit playing with racism!

John Smith : When you equate an entire social group with less than desirable behaviours, without accounting for circumstances or outliers, that’s racism on display.

Radio station Kiss 92 has since responded to the accusations and published an apology on its Facebook.

The apology penned by Maddy, wrote that she would like to apologise on behalf of the team as it was not their intention to hurt or belittle anyone or any race.
She stated, “Most of us on the show, including me, come from a multi-racial family, and a tolerant society has always been what we stand for on the show. I can understand how, when parts of what was said are taken out of the full context of the repartee among us DJs, they can be misconstrued to mean something we never intended.”
And added, “Again, we sincerely apologise for any offence taken and want to assure our listeners that we all want to work to become a tolerant and cohesive society.”
However, some netizens said the apology is not sincere and some said Kiss 92 should release the actual recording of that segment:

Sjanies van Zwienen : So basically ‘Sorry if you got offended’ instead of ‘Sorry for our behaviour.’
Coming from a multi racial family doesn’t mean you can’t be racist or commit racist behaviour.
And it’s funny that you mention context but don’t bring it up – still not quite sure what context would justify implying that the entirety of two races are irresponsible and not as hard working as another.
Please take your non-apology apology and get a good night’s rest – since you have work tomorrow! – maybe that’ll help you think of a better response.

Maressa Zahirah : Hi there – I’d love to hear the full proper audio of that segment. Coming from a media background, I am aware that recordings are made of every segment. To clear the air, your team should furnish the public with the actual recording of what was aired, since you alleged that the facebook post had taken your words out of context.

Shahrin Selamat : I am curious, in what ‘context’ would have made that swipe acceptable? Please learn to apologise correctly. If you dont intend to and dont get where you were wrong, dont apologise at all.

Harveen Narulla : This is not an apology. You blame sensible people for being offended because in your view their taking the plain ordinary meaning of what your radio hosts said was = taking things out of context. Shame on you. I’m not tuning into your station again.

Not all netizens gave angry comments though, some voiced their minds from different angles:
Swapna Abhilash : Hi, I didn’t hear the actual segment, but some quick notes on the apology:

  1. If you don’t think what you did was wrong, don’t apologize. Apologizing for ‘offense taken’ makes the person who was offended look/feel like they were being petty.
  2. It’s perfectly cool to think you did no wrong. But in a soft accusation of ‘misconstruing’ and taking things out of context, it’ll be really helpful if you could include what the intended context was, so it doesn’t seem like a cop out. Explaining how it was taken out of context would help those who were offended to reflect.
  3. Just because you stand for tolerance and come from a diverse background, it doesn’t at all mean that you’re incapable of insensitivity. It’s probably unintended, and we all make mistakes, but taking responsibility for ignorance is really important, because it shows a willingness to improve.

Once again, I’m speaking based on what I’ve heard has happened and the apology itself, and am not trying to talk about what’s happened, but how it’s handled.

Lawrence Koh : Come on guys , we are 1 Singapore . Although race might be different, but we are still the proud citizens of [Singapore flag image]. Let’s not be bother with the survey and not blame our 3 lovely lively DJ . Friendship forever to all my Malay and Indian fren.
Melvin Moey : Kiss 92 provided so much entertainment to our ears all these years and i believe they don’t mean what they say so move on and forgive them.

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