One of the most recent public figures to chime in on the People’s Association (PA) Hari Raya standee fiasco is People’s Action Party (PAP) politician Shamsul Kamar who shared a Facebook post on Thursday (17 June) which suggests that communication specialist Sarah Bagharib was a volunteer for the Workers’ Party (WP).

Ms Sarah was pulled into the spotlight when her wedding photo was used without permission as a prop in PA’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri display at an HDB estate in Tiong Bahru. The PA had removed the standee and offered a public apology after Ms Sarah talked about it on social media.

However, the organisation later rejected her “accusations” of racism, branding the incident as “culturally insensitive” instead and an “isolated case”.

The post that Mr Shamsul shared was original posted by the Facebook page Fabrications about the PAP. It includes a photo of Ms Sarah next to one of the same photo with a face mask added to it. Below are two photos of three people in WP shirts and masks, implying that Ms Sarah is the same person in the WP photos.

Mr Shamsul’s caption read: “For all to decide… Everything happens for a reason but let’s not be divisive”.

The post by the PAP politician was made private on Thursday evening, then made public on Friday morning with comments removed and then once again, made private in the afternoon.

It has been confirmed by Ms Sarah and the other lady in the bottom photo that they are not the same person.

The woman in question had reached out to Mr Shamsul via Instagram to verify her identity, sending a photograph of herself via the Direct Messages function as proof instead of sending one uploaded from her phone’s photo gallery.

Requesting to be anonymous, the lady had asked Mr Shamsul to issue a correction or clarification stating that Ms Sarah is not the person in the WP group photographs, and that any insinuations he had made through sharing the post are false or are likely to mislead others.

She also asked Mr Shamsul to apologise to her and Ms Sarah for spreading the post.

The woman who was wrongly identified is also said to be a Chinese lady.

Commenting on the post, Singaporeans poet and writer Alfian Sa’at said on his Facebook page that the photo collage “isn’t just character assassination, it’s outright libel”.

He added, “If they are not as depraved as they now appear to everyone, both FAP and Shamsul must apologise immediately and unreservedly.”

Journalist Kirsten Han also took to Facebook to call out Mr Shamsul’s sharing of the post as “shameful” and that it is his actions of sharing “disinformation coming from a known pro-PAP troll page” to imply that Ms Sarah’s was not acting in good faith but had an underlying political agenda is what is truly divisive.

Both Mr Alfian and Ms Han pointed out that even if Ms Sarah was a WP volunteer – which she isn’t – it shouldn’t matter.

Ms Han questioned, “Is Shamsul Kamar telling Singaporeans to think that everything an opposition party supporter does is in bad faith? Is he insinuating that opposition parties are not valid stakeholders in Singapore? ”

“This sort of bad-faith politicisation is what hurts Singaporean discourse and democracy,” she added.

Mr Alfian asked: “Isn’t the PA supposed to serve all Singaporeans? Are these people suggesting that the PA is equivalent to the PAP?”

Netizens on both Ms Han’s and Mr Alfian’s posts appear to share the same sentiments. A couple of people called it out as being “shameful”.

Many suggested that Ms Sarah should sue either FAP or Mr Shamsul or both, others said the other women in the photo should sue them as well for libel.

Others wondered if POFMA would be invoked in this situation given the disinformation and “fake news” being spread about Ms Sarah.

One person noted her “disgust”, and how different things would be if the situation were reversed. She also commented that it is a “sad day” for Singapore when a person who tried to discuss the issue of racial inequality is branded as having a political agenda.

One person pointed out the disgraceful antics of the whole situation, particularly the way in which people in power are using their power to “slander” an ordinary citizen, adding that this shows how “intolerant and vicious the Singapore gov’t can be to any citizen whom they think poses a threat to their hegemony and political power”.

Another person described the whole thing as “calculated and evil”, by subtly suggesting something in order to deny any responsibility.

Another netizen pointed out how the government and the majority are quick to reject an action as racist if they do not see it as clearly racist, and how this results in minorities self-censoring and accepting these bad behaviours as the norm.

A couple of people also echoed Ms Han’s and Mr Alfian’s points that it shouldn’t matter if Ms Sarah is a WP volunteer since the key point is that the PA used her photo without her permission, and that the PA should be non-partisan anyway.

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like


新加坡民主党秘书长徐顺全,在脸书发文举例行动党政府表现的种种“讲一套、做一套”,于己于百姓,却“各有一套标准”,因此没资格教百姓应“共同利益优先于个人利益”。 徐顺全先是提到,已是全球最高薪的行动党部长们自称薪水不够用,但又不肯为劳工阶级落实最低薪资制;总理月领20万高薪,却告诫人民去买最便宜的奶粉或三块钱的经济饭。 他非议现今的公积金政策,致使好些年长者到老还要为生计工作、苦恼,反观部长退休就能享受“瑞士生活水平”;更甭提说保证组屋价格永远不会下跌。 在教育方面,当精英学校和邻里学校的鸿沟扩大,部长声称“每所学校都是好学校”,但结果部长都把孩子送到海外名校求学。 财务方面,他认为行动党在公共开支上仍惯于大手笔和缺乏谨慎,还要调涨消费税;2016年全球朋党资本主义指数(crony-capitalism index),新加坡位居第四。 尽管一般新加坡群众都住在组屋,但政府仍倡议人口政策应以能应付一千万人口作规划,反之大部分部长都住在大洋楼。 在政治上,执政政府通过可允许部长指控反对党发表虚假事实,但反对党却没办法这么做;总统竞选保留给马来人,但允许印裔穆斯林参选。 再者,败选候选人可以受委政府基层组织领导,而不是当选的国会议员;徐顺全也以过去曾引起议论的“天然贵族论”(natural aristocracy),讽喻当权者认为没有“天然贵族”社会将失败,即便这可能加剧社会的贫富不均。 至于就业方面,徐顺全再提及政府当前引进外籍PMET的政策,反观好些新加坡人不得不靠开私召车或成为德士司机过活。  

#Me Too故事:女孩到狮城工作 却落得被性骚扰的下场

自2017年全球倡议#Me Too反性侵犯与性骚扰的活动开始,全球对于性骚扰/性侵犯的事件更加关注,呼吁抵制性骚扰/性侵犯事件,归还女性的社会安全权益。这股风潮也延烧到亚洲,各大艺人和公众人物开始分享自己在工作场所中面临到性骚扰案件,让人震惊的是,性骚扰却是随处可见。 一名在狮城辛辛苦苦工作,却因性骚扰案件而被辞退女性,现身说法分享她的经历。 “他用他那脏兮兮的手套,有意无意的,碰我的肩膀甚至是我的大腿。我也有让他知道这些行为是不恰当的,但他坚持这么做。” 我的名字叫珍(化名),今年20来岁。在过去五年内,我担任诊所里的牙科护士,在我换新的工作前,一直都有良好的工作经验,直到我换了工作,换到其他诊所上班… 2个月前我的噩梦便开始了,性骚扰我的人,就是我的老板,暂且叫他口臭医生或BB医生。BB医生是一名著名的牙科医师,目前50岁,已婚,已有三名孩子。 BB医生会用他那脏兮兮的手套,有意无意的,碰我的肩膀甚至是我的大腿。我也有让他知道这些行为是不恰当的,但他坚持做着。除了我,我也发现他会对其他女员工或者女病患有着不恰当的行为。我一直都很好奇为何没有人愿意出面指正他,为什么? “我曾站出来指正,却被人资抵制,他还甚至惩罚我,强迫我和他一起工作。” 我甚至还两次将此时禀报到人资部门,还是一名女性人资员工Fatty,但却无所作为。Fatty完全不予以理会。此后,BB医生反而开始惩罚我,并连续两周将我和他一起列入办公名单内。 BB医生几乎掌管整个人资部门,很可笑的是,人资部门清一色都是女性。她们却没有将心比心站出来,反而是与他串通一气。 “他竟然坦承自己停止碰我,这个人是不是有病?” 在上一次和我见面时,他当时和Fatty在一起,他当时竟然坦承自己已经“停止”碰我,原因竟是因为每当他想碰我的时候,我对他三番四次的警告,会再次出现提醒他,所以他才停止碰我,难道这个人是有病吗?…

Prima Deli sacks staff after interviewee's account of racial discrimination goes viral

A lady by the name of Sarah Carmariah posted on her Facebook account…

Why fares should double and other ideas for a better transport system

~By: Gordon Lee~ In this article, I outline a total rework of…