Singaporean rapper faces possible imprisonment for criticism of ‘Chinese privilege’ over ‘brown’ people

Subhas Nair singaporean rapper

On Monday, Subhas Nair, a controversial Singaporean rapper who accused authorities of racism toward non-Chinese citizens, was charged with creating division among the different races and religions in the country.

What happened: During his court appearance on Monday, Nair, 29, was spotted wearing a T-shirt with the face of Nagaenthran Dharmalingam, a mentally impaired Malaysian man who is set to face the death penalty in Singapore next week, according to Channel News Asia. He was accompanied by his sister, Preeti Nair, a singer better known as Preetipls.

  • If found guilty, Nair could face up to three years of imprisonment and fines for every charge. However, authorities said if he pleaded guilty, the rapper, who is of Indian descent, would only face two out of the four charges.
  • Nair’s bail was set to 10,000 Singaporean dollars (approximately $7,400), and his next court appearance will be on Nov. 29.

Past incidents: Nair was accused of “attempting to promote feelings of ill will” on four occasions between July 2019 and March 2021. He first received a 24-month conditional warning on Aug. 24, 2019 for posting a racially charged music video.

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  • The video was allegedly posted on YouTube with lyrics such as, “Chinese people always out here f*cking it up,” according to Yahoo! News. A copy of the clip was re-uploaded in August 2019 after the original was taken down.

  • The warning given by police stated that Nair could be prosecuted with the addition of any alleged offenses committed during that period if he reoffended. The rapper then disregarded the warning in July 2020 when he posted on Instagram to respond to a video with Chinese Christians spewing “hateful comments” about Malay Muslims.
  • “If two Malay Muslims made a video promoting Islam and saying the kind of hateful things these Chinese Christians said, ISD would have been at the door before they even hit ‘upload,’” Nair wrote.
  • He then faced trouble with authorities over a comment in October 2020 pointing out the “lenient treatment” police gave a Chinese man following a brawl that resulted in the death of an Indian man at Orchards Tower in July 2019.
  • “Calling out racism and Chinese privilege = two year conditional warning and smear campaign in the media. Actually conspiring to murder an Indian man = Half the sentence and ‘You’re having a baby soon right? Boy or girl?’ Do you actually think a brown person would get asked these type of questions? This place is just not for us,” Nair reportedly wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post, according to Channel News Asia.
  • Nair was also accused of displaying a cartoon with his Orchards Tower comment during a stage play of “Tabula Rasa – Album Exploration” at The Substation on March 11, 2021.

Featured Image via Subhas

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