Instead of addressing the concerns of Choa Chu Kang residents and solving their problems, PAP MP Alex Yam now accuses netizens of launching an online ‘witch-hunt’ against innocent people in a desperate attempt to deflect public attention from the ongoing ‘pinoy drummer’ saga which has raised serious questions about his competence.
Despite numerous requests by neighbors and the authorities to lower his volume, one Filipino boy staying in Block 608 Choa Chu Kang Street 62 has been playing drums and blasting rock music loudly to disturb the peace in the neighborhood daily for several weeks since September 2011.
Mr Yam has earlier said the issue has been ‘resolved’ on 24 March when the family acceded to the request for their child to play the drum only between 12pm-1pm and 6pm-7pm. However, when one resident Chong Li Ling pointed out that they did not adhere to what they have promised and ought to be issued with a summon, Mr Yam played the ‘foreigner’ card to dismiss her complaint immediately:
“Is it more acute because it is a foreigner family? Has anyone tried to approach and clarify the situation? Does anyone know that the person drumming is a special needs person in a special school? Did anyone try to find out that the family is trying to save up to soundproof their place? Just so that their son to develop what they believe is his innate talent despite his special needs?”, Mr Yam posted on his Facebook, his tone appearing to blame Singaporeans for not being ‘understanding’ enough.
Mr Yam’s reply sparked a massive outcry among netizens, prompting one Hardwarezone forumer “razen21” to publish alleged photos of the Filipino boy as well as a video of him drumming with his friends on the SPH-owned forum which went viral in cyberspace and got republished in several forums and blogs after a local English tabloid did an interview with the family without revealing the boy’s photo. (read more here)
[Source: SPH’s Hardwarezone forum]
In response to queries of the media, Mr Yam shifted the blame sorely on netizens:
‘It is unfortunate that there is this unofficial witch-hunt, and the case has got to a stage where innocent people are being sucked in.’
However, many netizens felt the situation would not spiral into this stage had Mr Yam been more proactive in tackling the problem instead of coming up with excuses one after another to defend the Filipino family.
One Hardwarezone forumer “lee_tired_ship” wrote:
“if you early early deal with the matter, then will have witch hunt meh?”
Another forumer “twinings” took offence at Mr Yam’s use of the term ‘witch-hunt':
“witch-hunts. he think what, 1500s to 1600s? MP don’t know what is witch-hunts but anyhow uses this term.”
Yodatan wasn’t impressed:
“well then u could have been transparent about the whole situation to begin with and not try to sweep everything under the carpet idiot.”
hachew blamed the Filipino drummer for not stepping forward to clarify:
“actually i think the fault is mostly on one person. the real issue was raised, but later was diverted to other issues, then when this wrong identity issue surfaced, the person who has knowledge to the truth chose to keep quiet. Therefore resulting in this boy being wrongly accused. He could just make a statement saying that it was not him. but he chose otherwise… this shows a lot about the person character.”
Meanwhile, as Mr Yam continues to ignore the comments left by netizens on his Facebook which has exceeded more than 250 comments so far, the state media is having a field day smearing netizens as xenophobic ‘witch-hunters’ which will only going to piss more people off.
We would like to offer our sincere apologies to Kenneth Milana for republishing his photos from Hardwarezone Forum without first verifying if he is the drummer in question which is impossible as his Facebook account is kept private. One of our moderators is a Hardwarezone forumer and frequently reproduced content from it here.
We have since removed all photos and any mention of him in our articles. It’s a honest mistake. No media is perfect let alone a small-time blog run by part-timers. TNP was once sued by former DPM Toh Chin Chye for mistaking him for another person with the same name who caused a traffic accident. Lianhe Zaobao recently mistook Colonel Perry Lim for Colonel Yau Thian Hock and used his photo in an article on the former’s sudden resignation from SAF. (read more here)
To use the usual PAP adage, let’s move on and not let it distract us from the REAL issue – which is ongoing ‘noise pollution’ generated by the Filipino boy which remains unresolved to this very day.