4 days after a Facebook post disrespecting the Singapore flag went viral, the police have commenced investigations on this matter.
The Facebook post in question showed a black T-shirt with a graphic depicting the Singapore flag being ripped apart to reveal an Indian flag underneath
The post was made by a Singapore Permanent Resident Avijit Das Patnaik on Tuesday (14 Aug) in a "Singapore Indians and Expats" group, which contained about 11.000 members.
The Hindi words "Phir bhi dil hai…" is taken from a popular song and roughly translates to "Still my heart is…". Incidentally, Wednesday (15 Aug) marks India's 72nd Independence Day.
Mr. Patnaik told the mainstream media that he had seen the post on various accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Whatspp and did not think twice about sharing it.
"I did not design the image and had already seen it being circulated widely... which is why I assumed it was okay for me to post the image."
"I love Singapore deeply and am always singing praises about this country, so my intention was never to cause so much grievance. I just felt that the image represented that deep inside, the heart also beats for our motherland."
Despite this, comments on social media revealed that many Singaporeans saw it as being disrespectful.
One netizen Gerald Tan commented that such a post was not acceptable: "After being here for more than 10 years and getting the opportunity to earn more than 20 times of what he can make back, he should have known better than to bite the hand who fed him."
DBS - where Mr. Patnaik works - commented that they are looking into the matter.
Under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act, any person who treats the national flag with disrespect faces a maximum fine of $1,000.