Removal of Ramadan ads fails to quell public anger

PETALING JAYA: Local television station 8TV might have pulled out their allegedly racist Public Service Announcements (PSA) and issued an official apology, but anger over the issue has not dissipated. Instead, many are accusing the Media Prima-owned station of high-handedness in the way it made the apology.

In a statement quoting Austrian philosopher Karl Popper, 8TV apologised for any inconvenience or uneasiness caused: "As the famous philosopher once said, It is impossible to speak in a way that you cannot be misunderstood' and this is the unfortunate situation that has resulted from the 8TV Ramadan PSA."

It said there were misinterpretations in the PSA that were meant to serve only as a message of respect for Ramadan.

The 8TV Facebook fan page has been flooded by comments, some of which have demanded the resignation of those responsible for the PSAs. Some also called for a boycott of the station.

The news has even made international headlines, appearing in the Washington Post, BBC and Forbes news websites.

All three announcements, which run for 30 seconds respectively, show a Chinese girl in different situations at a Ramadan bazaar.

They depict her being rude, greedy and dressing inappropriately in a public space.

The announcements are then followed by public service messages that urge the viewers to act "appropriately".