The Singapore Government-controlled Singapore Press Holding’s The New Paper (TNP) is getting a tidal wave of backlash for criticising the MRT bully victim, a teenage boy who wear a shirt captioned “I’m fucking special”.

In TNP Deputy Editor Melvin Singh’s commentary, he said that the display of vulgar words constitute a harassment and people would find the boy’s shirt offensive and insulting. Melvin Singh went on to question if the boy is an “instigator” and if people jumped at the caucasian man’s behaviour because he is an caucasian and not at the boy for wearing the shirt.

Photo of Melvin Singh from Sammyboy forum
Photo of TNP Melvin Singh from Sammyboy forum

In mere hours after TNP Melvin Singh’s commentary was put up on Facebook, netizens from all nationalities lambaste him for victim-shaming, with likes for his critics exceeding his posted article.

Screenshot from Facebook
Screenshot from Facebook

I think the problem lies with the writer’s brain. Is there something wrong with the New Paper?

A teen wears a silly shirt that’s for fun, and attracts bullying , and we say that it’s the fault of the teen , not the fault of the bully.

Why don’t u say that it’s the fault of the man who gets robbed, cos he walked around with a purse and attracted attention.

It’s the fault of the woman who gets raped, cos she was too sexy.

Let’s call out bad behavior as is, and not blame the victim


This news eventually got carried by a tabloid online portal, All Singapore Stuff (ASS) who titled their article: “TNP’S MELVIN SINGH SAYS TEENAGER IN MRT WAS AT FAULT, NOT THE ANG MOH BULLY”.

Despite heavy criticisms, TNP Melvin Singh today, in the wee morning of 3am, put up another post to defend himself saying the title by ASS is misleading and not true. The Facebook post by TNP clarified that Melvin Singh’s article criticise both the bully and the victim in the incident.

Screenshot from Facebook
Screenshot from Facebook

This clarification, however, still does not bodes well with his critics with a top comment by Jessica Yeow:

Screenshot from Facebook
Screenshot from Facebook

Lets see, maybe the author of that article stayed up all night camping to see who else is attacking him and thus within 2 hours posted this up?

As i replied to Melvin’s comment on the original post.

Quoting from the article.

1) Is it because they perceive the bully, who is light-skinned and has blond hair, to be a foreigner?

(What we saw: A strong, bigger built adult getting rowdy at a teenager who kept his mouth shut to try and avoid conflict but is exposed to threats of getting thrown off the train.)

2) If others are to stand up to bullies, it may be useful to remember that idiocy is also a local affliction.

(So we are idiots because we find that standing up against a bully is right? And we should allow the teenager to be subjected to threats and verbal assaults because his t-shirt has a slogan, not directed to ANYONE was “insulting”?)

3) In June, a commuter uploaded a picture of a South Indian worker who had made himself as small as possible on a train from Jurong East to Marina South Pier.

A minute earlier, an elderly man next to him had yelled vulgarities at the foreigner for brushing against his arm. The older man proudly proclaimed himself a Singaporean and continued shouting at the migrant worker who sat quietly throughout the tirade.

(And you do know that in the video, the boy, a SINGAPOREAN, was the one sitting there quietly throughout THIS tirade too, until someone stepped up right? So a Singaporean scolding a migrant worker is wrong and racist but a foreigner scolding a Singaporean is right because the Singaporean kid “instigated” it by wearing a slogan t-shirt? Double standard much.)

Melvin brought racism and judgement (on locals btw) into the article, not the readers. This form of writing would only cause social unrest in SG when publishers are writing such junk. Maybe instead of backing your writer up, time to do some proofreading on the articles you publish.

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