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Criticism against Facebook user Sephia Farid has continued more than a year after People’s Action Party (PAP) parliamentarian Zainal Bin Sapari accused the netizen of inciting discontentment and “stoking the Malay/Muslim community against others”.
Mr Zainal and others have suggested that Sephia Farid’s Facebook profile must be a fake or troll account since she has no friends on her account and has only made 10 posts – all of which are about racism – in an account that is over two years old.
Sephia Farid has a reputation for making allegations that she experienced workplace discrimination and “abuse of power” simply because she is a Muslim who wears a hijab, on social media.
Last year, she alleged that a government agency asked her to stop wearing a hijab in order to be employed even though her qualifications met the job requirements. Sephia’s post went viral but she remained tight-lipped when asked to name the agency that allegedly made the request.
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Netizens urged Sephia to report the matter to the Ministry of Manpower and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices but she declined to provide further details and claimed that she did not want to implicate the government.
While refusing to report any of her claims to the authorities, Sephia continued to make more allegations of racism and discrimination against her leading netizens – who once sympathised with her – to suspect that she is simply making such posts for attention.
Frustrated netizens soon exposed Sephia’s Facebook profile as a troll account and pointed out that none of her allegations were backed by any evidence. Member of Parliament Zainal Bin Sapari, who is believed to have reached out to Sephia to understand the situation, soon denounced her as a fake account.
He wrote on Facebook: “Trying to incite public anger and discontentment thru a FAKE ACCOUNT, especially stoking the Malay/muslim community against others is VERY WRONG. It is a cowardly, disgusting and irresponsible act. I hope the authorities take appropriate action on this.”
A year after faking workplace discrimination, Sephia has once again drawn the ire of netizens when she asked the Ministry of Defence whether she would be allowed to join the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps (SAFVC) even though she is a hijab-wearing Muslim.
Sharing a sponsored post from the Defence Ministry urging women between the ages of 18 and 45 to join the SAFVC, Sephia wrote that she wonders whether she would be allowed to join since none of the women featured in the sponsored post wore a hijab.
She wrote: “Ministry of Defence, Singapore (MINDEF), I’m a female Singaporean between 18-45 years of age, I would like to step forward and protect what I love. But I’m in hijab.
“Will you still accept me because the requirement that you state is just female Singaporean between 18-45 years of age. But the pictures in the sponsored post are all ladies not in hijab. How?”
Sephia’s post has widely been seen as unnecessarily inflammatory.
Warning netizens to be aware of Sephia’s history, Facebook page The Reservist wrote on Facebook that the netizen is “seemingly trying to incite some sort of anger and racial divide in our society by citing discrimination of the Malay/Muslim community through her alleged experiences of discrimination through her job applications, and wondering if the SAF would do the same.”
The page added: “There will be trolls, there will be people trying to stir the pot and cause trouble. We need to investigate and be vigilant against such attempts to rock the boat and shake our way of life!”
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