On Monday (2 May), former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong posted the above photograph on Facebook. In his caption, he wrote, “Selamat Hari Raya Puasa to all our Muslim friends.”
Netters quickly pointed out how racially insensitive and tone-deaf this post was. On Twitter, activist Lim Jialiang wrote that the picture shows “how these photo ops reduce Singapore minorities to mere props during their own festive celebrations as a shallow, ritualised adherence to the CMIO (Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others) model.”
After the backlash, Goh Chok Tong uploaded another post which did not help his case. He says that portraying Malays/Muslims as “scarecrows” was “far from my (his) mind”.