On the campaign trail

Yaacob condemns inaccurate, malicious photo posted online

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (left) visiting Blk 69 Geylang Bahru Market & Hawker Centre on Sept 3 2015.
Dr Yaacob Ibrahim (left) visiting Blk 69 Geylang Bahru Market & Hawker Centre on Sept 3 2015.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

A photograph circulating widely online yesterday shows Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong holding what appear to be bottles of champagne.

In fact, they were in a line of VIPs at an event, popping bottles of confetti, when the photo was taken.

Dr Yaacob yesterday condemned those behind the online photo mischief, which paired that photo with another showing Aljunied GRC MP Faisal Manap and other Muslim members of the Workers' Party praying before an election rally,

The two photos were sent out with a line that says: "Make a guess who is in charge of Muslim Affairs."

As Muslims are not allowed to drink alcohol, it was apparently done to attack Dr Yaacob.

Clarifying that the "champagne bottles" contained confetti, he said: "You can see from the photo that, actually, it was confetti, and

it was nothing else." The photo was taken in 2012 at the launch of a partnership between Lasalle College of the Arts and London's Goldsmiths College.

Dr Yaacob, who is vice-chairman of the People's Action Party, said he was disappointed that the photo did not reflect the truth.

"This is the kind of politics that we shouldn't approve of. It is very malicious and I think we should condemn this," he said.

Speaking to reporters while attending an Islamic Religious Council of Singapore event, he added: "I think Mr Faisal Manap knows me very well. We've prayed together in Parliament House... when we have to do our afternoon prayers."

He hoped opposition politicians would also condemn what was done. "We should avoid this kind of gutter politics," he said. "I hope the opposition politicians will do the same to condemn this sort of behaviour online."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'Yaacob condemns inaccurate, malicious photo posted online'. Print Edition | Subscribe