Radio DJ Chris Ho apologises for controversial Facebook post

Lush 99.5FM DJ Chris Ho's post on his Facebook page (above) drew flak from netizens. Mr Ho said he was surprised by the backlash as his statement was "far-fetched".
Lush 99.5FM DJ Chris Ho's post on his Facebook page (above) drew flak from netizens. Mr Ho said he was surprised by the backlash as his statement was "far-fetched".
Lush 99.5FM DJ Chris Ho's (below) post on his Facebook page (above) drew flak from netizens. Mr Ho said he was surprised by the backlash as his statement was "far-fetched".
Lush 99.5FM DJ Chris Ho's (below) post on his Facebook page (above) drew flak from netizens. Mr Ho said he was surprised by the backlash as his statement was "far-fetched".ST FILE PHOTO

Comment on army recruitment slogan meant to be 'satirical'

A Mediacorp Lush 99.5FM DJ apologised yesterday for a controversial Facebook post in which he called for Singaporeans to be killed.

Mr Chris Ho commented on an army recruitment advertisement on the social media platform on Thursday.

The campaign, launched last December, bears the slogan: "How far would you go to protect our home?"

The Singaporean wrote in response: "How far...? Let's see... I'm with you foreigners! Kill the **** Singaporeans but not my friends, can?"

His comment caused fury among netizens and was reposted on citizen journalism portal Stomp.

Contributor Tee Seng said: "What kind of joke is this? If he hates Singaporeans so much, why is he still here? I used to be a fan of his but he has gone too far."

Mr Ho told The Straits Times yesterday he was surprised by the response. "It is such a far-fetched statement that I'm shocked that Singaporeans are taking it so seriously," he said, adding that the "satirical" message was meant to mock the campaign slogan. "Hello, Singaporeans, you mean you need people to give you a wake-up call to defend the country?" he asked.

"Why should the question be put forth as such? Singaporeans who love the country would know what to do."

He said he wanted to allude to the rising levels of anti-foreigner sentiment here. The ex-Straits Times rock columnist added: "I think Singaporeans are looking for a new Anton Casey... I'm not advocating genocide."

He was referring to the 39-year-old British wealth manager who moved to Australia after sparking a furore by calling public transport commuters "poor people".

Two hours after he spoke to The Straits Times, Mr Ho posted a formal apology on Facebook, reading: "My satirical remark was not meant to offend anyone at all. Sorry if a wake-up jibe offended your sense of what's right. At the end of the day, I never once denied I am, myself, a Singaporean too."

Ms Georgina Chang, vice-president of English programming for music in MediaCorp's radio division, said: "We do not condone Chris Ho's statements on his personal Facebook page. They do not reflect the philosophy or opinions of Lush 99.5FM.

"Chris has always been a strong supporter of local talent, however he maintains a satirical personality online, and his intentions can be misinterpreted."

waltsim@sph.com.sg

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