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Malay Scarecrow? ESM Goh Under Fire For Hari Raya Post Featuring Scarecrow Dressed Up For Hari Raya

ESM Goh Chok Tong received backlash for his Hari Raya greeting on Facebook that struck many netizens as distasteful.

The offending post featured ESM Goh posing beside a scarecrow dressed in baju melayu and decorated with green packets and ketupat.

Netizens were up in arms, calling out ESM Goh for his insensitive and tone deaf post.

Some decided to get political.

Yet others thought the outrage was just playing the victim card. 

ESM Goh responded to the backlash, justifying his post by saying that it wasn’t his intention to portray Malay-Muslims as scarecrows. He explained that the scarecrow changes attires throughout the year.

Netizens still weren’t happy by the clarification post, saying that there is no accountability.


Some said there are better ways to display his years of work in promoting multi-racialism.
Netizens believed a proper apology would have been better instead of a clarification post which sounds defensive.

This was not the first time a Hari Raya greeting went wrong. Last year,a Hari Raya photo cutout in Tiong Bahru went viral for mistakenly using a wedding photo in place of Hari Raya attire.

Source: CNA

There are other ways to greet and celebrate the occasion with the Malay-Muslim community. Many other community figures featured visits to local mosques and photos with Muslims celebrating the festivities. Racial cohesiveness is a work in progress but progression can only be made with immersion, understanding cultural sensitivities and appreciation of differences.

Reporter’s Opinions: No words for that particular comment except sheer disgust for the lack of respect and attempt at stirring racial discord.

At the end of the day, the greeting was made in a distasteful manner. The Malay-Muslim community have been on the receiving end of insensitive, caricaturing and ignorant remarks for quite sometime now.

No one is doubting the work that you have done in promoting racial harmony but using that to clarify your stance in using that photo just makes you look defensive.

While it may not have been your intention to hurt the sentiments of the community, apologizing for a distasteful post won’t hurt. 

Why anyone would think that posting a scarecrow dressed in baju melayu is an appropriate Hari Raya greeting is beyond me.

Scarecrows are made to scare crows. In pop culture, they are also found in horror movies as the boogeyman. They either chase or kill people. Yeah, it is understandable why people are up in arms about the post.

Learn, relearn and release old habits. What’s funny then may no longer be funny today.

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Belalang Biru

Written by Belalang Biru

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