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Police will not take action against Xiaxue over social media post about race

The Independent logo The Independent 19/9/2020 Jewel Stolarchuk
a close up of a couple of people posing for the camera © The Independent Singapore

Singapore — The police announced on Thursday (Sept 17) that they will not take action against social media influencer Xiaxue over a social media post about race. Earlier in the day, they had issued a stern warning to Workers’ Party (WP) MP Raeesah Khan over two posts about race and religion.

The investigation against Xiaxue, whose real name is Wendy Cheng, began after an individual made a police report against her in response to her criticism of Ms Khan.

Ms Khan was catapulted into the public eye in June when she was announced as one of the new WP candidates in the 2020 General Election. In the middle of the campaign period, some citizens made police reports against her over views she had expressed previously in social media posts.

In the posts in February 2018 and May 2020, Ms Khan had allegedly claimed that the authorities discriminated against citizens on the basis of race and religion. She publicly apologised for the remarks in the posts after the police reports were made. The WP stood by its candidate.

Re-posting Ms Khan’s posts on her Instagram story, Xiaxue branded her a “racist” and a “toxic woman”. She added that Ms Khan was trying to stir up civil strife by bringing  American-style politics to Singapore.

Xiaxue drew intense backlash over her criticism of Ms Khan. One individual, Mr Vignesh Sankar Iyer, dug up a 2010 tweet she made that seemed to target migrant workers. The tweet, which has since been deleted, said: “Coz they molest people and f*** our maids and leer at girls and flood little India!! Yeah I’m stereotyping, but f*** u if u say its not true.”

Mr Vignesh filed a police report against Xiaxue over the tweet on July 6 and accused her of stirring up anti-Indian sentiments. He published a video online of him making the police report and the video went viral, drawing hundreds of thousands of views.

The hashtag “Punish Xiaxue” started to trend online and the influencer hit back at the “woke” critics who were after her. As public outrage refused to die down, she locked her blog and Twitter account and filed a protection order and harassment suit against the online mob.

This was the police statement on Xiaxue:

“In response to media queries, the Police confirm that reports were lodged in relation to online posts made by a netizen using the moniker “Xiaxue”, alleging that these online posts had intended to wound religious or racial feelings and constituted harassment against minorities. “The Police have consulted the Attorney-General’s Chambers, which advised no further action in relation to these posts as the elements of an offence have not been established beyond a reasonable doubt. The Police will not be taking any further action on the matter.”

The statement on the Xiaxue case came just after the police announced that they had issued a stern warning to Ms Khan over her online posts. The WP politician will not be charged.

Ms Khan was given a stern warning “for “the offence of promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion or race” and for “an additional offence of contempt by scandalising the court”.

Ms Khan made a public statement addressing the warning on her Facebook page. She said she had cooperated fully with the police investigations.

During the General Elections, a police report was made against two posts I made, one on 2 February 2018 and one on 17…

Posted by Raeesah Khan on Thursday, September 17, 2020

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