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YouTuber Preetipls and rapper Subhas Nair 'sorry for any hurt unintentionally caused’ by their video

SINGAPORE — Breaking their silence, the siblings behind an allegedly offensive rap video put up a social media post on Friday (Aug 2) saying they were “sorry for any hurt that was unintentionally caused”.

YouTuber Preetipls and rapper Subhas Nair 'sorry for any hurt unintentionally caused’ by their video

On Friday, siblings Preeti Nair and Subhas Nair put up identical posts on their Instagram accounts where they said they were sorry for the video.

SINGAPORE — Breaking their silence, the siblings behind an allegedly offensive rap video put up a social media post on Friday (Aug 2) saying they were “sorry for any hurt that was unintentionally caused”.

The siblings are under police investigations after a report was lodged against their video, the police had said on Tuesday.

In the three-minute video, rapper Subhas Nair and YouTuber Preeti Nair — who goes by the username Preetipls — criticise an advertisement for the government e-payment initiative, E-Pay, which featured Mediacorp actor Dennis Chew dressed up as four characters, including a Malay woman wearing a religious headdress and an Indian man with “browned” skin.

The advertising campaign was in connection with the unified e-payment initiative — a multi-agency effort led by Enterprise Singapore — where electronic payments provider Nets was appointed as the master acquirer to handle payment transactions and drive adoption of e-payment in small food businesses.

The video as well as the advertisement have both been roundly criticised by government and community leaders, including Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam.

The siblings' social media post — which was put up on their Instagram and Facebook accounts — also said: “The message behind the music video is that opportunities must be for everyone. For that reason, K. Muthusamy, well known for his ability to address privilege, power and censorship in a single production in a light-hearted way, was selected as the face of this music video. He speaks to characters from all walks of life in Singapore, bringing home the point that only some people truly pay.”

They added: “Behind the music video is an initiative to provide greater consciousness to consumers, corporations and the many faces of Singapore.”

The siblings’ remarks contained thinly-veiled references to earlier statements issued by Nets, creative agency Havas Worldwide and Mediacorp’s celebrity management arm The Celebrity Agency, following the backlash over the advertisement.

A joint statement issued on Sunday by Havas and The Celebrity Agency read: “The message behind this advertising campaign is that e-payment is for everyone. For that reason, Dennis Chew, well-known for his ability to portray multiple characters in a single production in a light-hearted way, was selected as the face of the campaign. He appears as characters from different walks of life in Singapore, bringing home the point that everyone can e-pay.”

It added: “We’re sorry for any hurt that was unintentionally caused. Behind the ad is an initiative to provide greater convenience to consumers, merchants and small food businesses.”

Mediacorp issued a second statement on Tuesday saying that “the portrayal of some races in the advertisement was done in an insensitive fashion".

It said: "We take full responsibility and apologise unreservedly. We will have more stringent safeguards in place to prevent a repeat of such a mistake."

In a statement sent on Wednesday, Nets said the intent of its campaign was to “communicate that e-payment is for everyone” and it apologised for “any hurt that its campaign has caused”.

Havas issued another apology on Wednesday for "any hurt caused by the recent campaign to communicate that e-payment is for everyone".

"The message behind the campaign is that e-payment is for people across all age groups and demographics," Havas said.

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Subhas Nair Preetipls rap video E-Pay

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