People's Association apologises after wedding photo of couple used as Hari Raya standee without their permission - CNA

People's Association apologises after wedding photo of couple used as Hari Raya standee without their permission - CNA


So many things wrong with this I don't know which is worst: 1) Using the photo without permission for such a public, commercial use 2) Thinking a Malay wedding photo is an appropriate representation of Hari Raya 3) In what world is it ever ok to use photos of people for standees with their face cut out?!


Imagine if their Christmas standee had a white bridal gown and tuxedo, or their CNY standee had a traditional kua. Idiots.


Well the lack of understanding is not surprising. I've had several friends(you can guess which race there are) who have come to me and wish me happy new year for Hari Raya. Although they've done it with good intentions, it just shows a lack of understanding. For a so called multicultural society it's just showing that we are all in our bubbles.


Ask Melvin Yong.


Can Photoshop MP face on that. MP Should be happy to show face more to win the election.


Lol,no common decency to at least ask for permission.


\>assuming PA even have common decency to begin with




I don't think they even knew who the people in the photo were. My guess is someone lazy just googled Malay celebration photos and then just thought it's not an issue since no face. Stupid and ignorant, but wouldn't call it malicious.


Unfortunately ignorance can be malicious.


*We are PA. No one will complain one lah*


operate with impunity


> “I was honestly taken aback – it’s one thing to have my photo used without my permission for a government-related ‘celebration’ and another to have our faces cut out for other people to put theirs through and take photographs of,” she said. This quote pretty much says it all. To say the lady is pissed off is an understatement.


What if it was the other way round? A malay wedding using a standee with an MP with his face cut out and allowing guests to pose for photos? Confirm kena summom jialat2…


Some1 needs to try this and see how the MPs like it then


I need the Tony Tan standee, with belt line above bellybutton. Preferably next to the Goh Chok Tong standee.


The worst part? They cut a hole in the standees' faces for random strangers to put their own face in as a photo-op. Just cut the face out of other people's wedding photo why don't cha?


Well I think them not being able to tell how Hari Raya is usually celebrated is a damn big failure. For an organization who's purpose is to foster cultural understanding between the different ethnicities, and has decades of experience, lots of manpower resources and funding, to get this wrong is just damning. They, of all people, shouldn't get this wrong Shows that they've failed at their core duties.


This, right here! This criticism can correctly be lobbied at many agencies. E.g. you'd think Changi Airport and SATS would know about PPE and Covid safety, but no. E.g. you'd think that MOE would know about transgender and LGBT students and the struggles they face, but no.


Wow, someone fked up BAD.


Using without permission aside, I think the bigger issue is just the ignorance displayed by both PA and the vendor. Those costumes are for weddings.. have you ever seen malays dressed like that for hari raya? Even if they have no malays in their team, you telling me that a Singaporean non-malay couldn't realise this before the standees were printed???


Especially when PA is supposed to be the organization that fosters cultural understanding between peoples of different ethnicities. With decades of experience, lots of funding and human resources, you'd thought they wouldn't get this wrong.


Yeap! A profound lack of ignorance on everybody's part here, from the person who had this idea, to the designer, to the one who greenlighted the final product. This entire project must have been passed through a ton of people, and yet no one realised anything. Smh.


If someone even noticed, they must have hoped no one will notice and let it blow over cos to change need more $$$


Must be from the lowest quotation.


Apparently they have been running since 1979. 41 years of knowing nothing. Heh.


Don't know how they got the tender, can't find a website lol. Is it through years of connections


>"We will be more mindful going forward."< Going forward meaning? This isn't a case of someone offering you constructive feedback for your creative process. It's an outright breach of copyright and they should be sued out of business.


Gov has very little respect for intellectual properties or rather things to belonged to other people. They usually give this KNN reply. Take the matter to the contractor that sold us this. No due diligence at all.


Is there anyone else enraged over the fact that they painted a fake coconut tree green?!


Not only are they not culturally attuned, they're also botanically ignorant. Also happy cake day!


Save cost,only use 1 paint


From the land where green nasi lemak rice is a thing, am not surprised.


Besides the point of permission, utterly tone-deaf and gross oversimplification to the point of misinformation. Wedding costume ≠ Hari Raya clothes! This is on PA who called the shots.


If this was an opposition ward it would probably be discussed in parliament and blown up


parliament is a bit far-fetched


Wow that is insensitive. But this is nothing new. At least ask permission you fking clowns


Even asking permission the concept is wrong. Malay weddings is not equal to hari raya celebration. 😃


Yeah. Imagine using an image of a bridal in all white bridal gown and groom in black and white suit as a Christmas decoration. Apparently minority celebrations are all the same.


i had dealings with PA. I did some programs for them using my IP. They took my IP without my permission and used it. When i confronted them, they said oh you can sue us haha.


Do a Jade Rasif on them!


it was many years ago. The climate was totally different then. They were untouchable. Today this has slightly changed with all the incompetence surfacing from this generation of scholar generals and leaders. I have been saying for years this leadership system is flawed. Nobody will listen


Out them then


This is wrong on so many levels. 🤦


As usual, I find it a little distasteful that PA names the agency responsible for this piece of work, seemingly blaming them. PA is the client, they were the ones who gave the brief to the agency, and they were the ones who signed off the agency’s proposal. Finger pointing culture at its best Edit: the agency is appointed by PA directly so to those who are saying is not PA’s responsibility when their agency messed up, please think again.


As a creative I think it's the agency's fault. Randomly download off the internet and pass it off as compliant and appropriate? Asking for it.


Sorry I think the vendor still holds a large part of the blame... As an art studio they really should know better than to infringe on the image copyrights of others.


I agree it’s not nice to name the vendor, but isn’t it right for PA to expect the vendor to have done things professionally (ie asked for proper image rights and permission) without PA having to check 100% of the details?


Agreed.. I work for a smaller organization and when we engage vendors for marketing materials we are told that the images used won't infringe on copyright. It shouldn't be up to the customer to check cause we have no graphic design background or resources. Unless PA overlooked the agreement and the copyright issue was never stated by the vendor.


Yes it's definitely within PA's right to expect a vendor to do things to do things professionally, but given that PA is accountable for the entire event/decorations whilst the vendor is responsible for the event/decorations, one would probably expect PA to have some form of oversight. Whether or not oversight was done and to what degree no one knows (outside of the people involved). It's a case of vendor not doing it's job properly and somehow the people from PA overlooked. Though in this case when PA named the vendor, it does sound like they're trying to push the blame to them.


Agree - Accountability <> Responsibility, these are basic outsourcing rules.


Just thinking aloud some basic questions that PA should be on top of prior to execution: - What’s the source of these images? - Were they shot by the agency or were they from a stock library? - Do they have full creative rights to use the photos? - If shot by the agency, are fees for the models included in the agency’s fees? Either no one thought to ask these questions, someone was lying, or they were fully aware, though what are the chances they’d be found out and okayed it anyhow.


It's really not the clients duty to ask if a graphic design agency has permission to use the images any more than they need to ask their caterers if their food will give people food poisoning. It's a bare minimum standard that all graphic design companies should be doing.


You raise good questions that the staff in charge at PA probably don’t even know to ask. Not sure how things work there but the staff might have been a general admin of sorts that just thought it will be ok to outsource the work to a professional vendor and they just do a high level check on whether there is anything obviously unsatisfactory/offensive. Hopefully they will learn now.


Possible if its a small company doing one-off events but you'd assume that an organisation as big as PA, especially one that organises these cultural events on the regular, should have all these down pat. This is especially because all of these questions involve money. The amount that PA will have to pay for all these to be produced depends on whether models are used/costumes need to be rented, if its a stock photo that needs to be purchased or if its one that's royalty-free and can be used for commercial purposes.


I think it depends on whether PA knew it was without permission? If they knew and approved it, then yes, it's on the PA. But if they didn't, then I think the PA (or any other customer really) is entitled to presume that whatever the vendor is proposing the vendor has or will be going to obtain the permission or rights if needed.


How the fuck is the client supposed to know the vendor steal other people's IP sia.


Typically, if an agency buys a stock image specifically for a project, the cost is usually passed to the client and _billed accordingly._ In these cases, the client also receives the original image to reuse for their own needs. In other words, the client "buys" the image with the agency as middleman. In these cases also, the initial drafts will typically use low-res and/or watermarked images before the client signs-off on the final artworks. At that stage, the client would be presented with a number of options that might have differing costs depending on source. Some image banks, like Getty, can be very costly and have varied pricing. Some, like Shutterstock, are more affordable and have a flat fee across their library. - - - Of course, some clients might not be willing to fork out that expense and request for free images. This is the part, where I imagine oversight tends to fail. In these cases, it's up to the vendor to source out responsibly. Either they find them from their own library of purchased images that they maintain or absorb the cost (and add to that library). Or find a free image and yes they exist. Some require accreditation, some have restrictions on commercial use and some are fully free to use, released by their creators. This option is pretty much the last result as finding an appropriate free to use image of suitable quality is... not easy to say the least. - - - **tldr:** The PA were probably being cheapskates but were probably not unethical (unless they knowingly approved of a questionably sourced image). The onus _is_ on the studio in the end.


It's called due diligence, to make sure vendors are above board and transparent with materials and expenses. Apparently someone in PA didn't think to do any due diligence.


> It's called due diligence, to make sure vendors are above board and transparent with materials and expenses. If PA doesn't have any staff competent at doing this due diligence, I guess they hire another vendor to do it… and another one to perform due diligence on the vendor before that.


Maybe they should take some responsibility but come on lah , be realistic. If your vendor did this do you think it will be caught easily.


the buck stops with PA. look at what the PA was built to do and all its aspirations to improve racial relations, then look at this.


Don’t bash PA just for the sake of bashing. No one other than the agency themselves will know where the pictures come from. To PA this is just a standee of a married couple of a Malay heritage. I doubt most client will check with the agency if the photo has any copy right issues. This should be done at the agency side since they are the professional. As the client, their job is to make sure is it culturally appropriate? (I don’t think a cut hole standee should offend anyone if not for the copy right issue)


Agree with you not the clients responsibility to check for copyright - that is an admin issue and vendors fault. I don’t expect checking for copyright to be a PA competency. But the client has overall responsibility for signing off on the final product and concept. And in this case it looks especially bad on the client because you would expect PA, with its mandate, to have cultural awareness as a core competency. Something like using a wedding photo should minimally set off some alarm bells, if PA were good at their job.


Not bashing PA for the sake of bashing, but if I’m organising an event and getting a vendor, I’ll get the vendor to report to me and if they ask me if they should print out an image of a wedding couple for HARI RAYA, I’ll make sure I tell them off for their stupidity. It is not just the copyright issue, it is the lack of professionalism on PA’s end and also the vendor’s end, and it is also cultural insensitivity! You can’t just equate a Malay wedding to Hari Raya, jeez!


are u serious? a cut out figure is not inappropriate? considering the fact that it grossly simplifies Malay culture (wedding=hari raya=wear nice clothes and thus all the same)??


PA is easy target. Whats the point of getting an agency to do the work if you dont trust them to get the process right? Might as well do it yourself, right?


If we follow your logic, then what’s the point of managers and bosses? Why don’t they just trust their employees? Also, PA has admitted their mistake as they should, and said that its their responsibility, so...


Unfortunately i dont think you get the logic. Let me be specific. The point of getting someone to do the work and paying them for it is such that you dont have to micro-manage things such as “did you get permission for this image” and “where did you get this image from”?


Well, you also don’t get the logic. People screw up, so we need managers. If you want something done right and you want your own ass to be covered, you can’t just let go of the reins entirely. Also, you’re acting like micro managing isn’t a thing in Singapore. Lol! Don’t see how it’s micro managing when the cardboard cutout is so big tbh.


LOL! Not letting go of the reins doesnt mean you scrutinise every single thing. Just because micro-managing is a thing in SG doesnt mean that it should be the norm because managers/ vendor managers have better things to do that ask and verify every line item and its origins. Should they ask about the forest the tree is from also? Also micro managing is not related to the size of the cardboard.. why should someone have to spell this out to you 😂😂


Lol no I’m wondering why I must spell it out for you sia. This has nothing to do with micro managing actually but since you brought it up, I’m making a joke by saying that the cardboard is damn BEEG how come the person in charge never see that it’s a bride and groom at a wedding then faster hide the cardboard? Also I’m wondering if you’ve ever planned an event or worked with vendors before? Because you would need to approve the vendors proposal first right? So isn’t it still poor management, whether micro or not????


I have, and i am a manager. I wonder if you have, to say something so laughable. Do you ask your vendors if their toilet paper buy from sheng siong or ntuc? And why they never buy the one on discount? What about their stock images? Which website they get it from? How much was it? Did they get approval for the photo? THAT is micro-managing. And those details are not included in the proposal. Dont conflate the issues by saying “why it never hide” because the issue we were discussing was the approval from the vendor. As people have pointed out, you clearly have no idea about client/vendor management or are mediocre at work that you require micro-managing.. i hope for you it’s the former :)


Okay, cute that you’re giving examples of micromanagement when you’re the one who brought it up, not me. And I think that a cardboard cutout like that, which seems to be a highlight on the stage or platform or whatever it is, would require some attention and thus details surrounding it should be in the proposal. Just saying. Not sure why you feel the need to proclaim that you are a manager and insult me by saying that I’m mediocre at my job. Hitting below the belt ain’t cool. Perhaps find a better argument before replying?


Clearly this is too much for you to follow. I said it isnt PA’s fault becuase in a client and vendor relationship you dont micro-manage and delegate that to the vendor to source their proposals and content in a responsible way. What i am saying is that the source of these things are not included in proposals. I apologise if you felt that i was proclaiming that i was a manager but i was really just answering your question. And like i said, i sincerely hope it’s the former, because i would hate for anyone to be mediocre at their job - hardly hitting below the belt.


Are you working? You don't seem to have an idea of what client/vendor management is.


Care to elaborate then? All I know is I’ve organised an event before whereby the vendor screwed up and so I had to clear up the mess before the start of the event, which PA clearly did not do.


Clearly not... LOL


Rights aside, I'm also quite amazed that PA didn't realise it was a WEDDING PHOTO.


whats new in singapore, take the credit when good things happen, blame, deny responsibility and blame others when things go bad.


Classic civil service tactic. If win praise self, something go wrong, blame vendor.


Not unique to this situation. That said it really is the vendor’s fault because how the fuck would PA know that this was obtained without permission?


Sure, but permission aside, I’m more worried that PA folks didn’t know that was a photo of a Malay couple at their wedding. Clowns


Sure, but what PA should have picked up on is the inappropriateness of using a wedding photo to depict hari raya. IMO that looks worse on them than the permission issue, because MCCY/PA of all agencies should have some cultural awareness


Tai chi...


the only thing i can say is people's association my ASS....they dont give a damn about people at if they can do this shit...


> # People's Association apologises after wedding photo of couple used as Hari Raya standee without their permission > SINGAPORE: The People's Association (PA) has apologised after a wedding photo of a couple was used as a standee for Hari Raya decorations in Radin Mas Single Member Constituency (SMC) without the couple's permission. > Ms Sarah Bagharib, 30, said in an Instagram post on Friday (May 28) that she had written a letter to the authorities after realising that her wedding photo had become a standee and was used as Hari Raya decor at a Tiong Bahru housing estate. > Advertisement > Advertisement > "A few days ago, I discovered much to my dismay the use of my and my husband’s wedding photograph at Tiong Bahru Orchid (Jalan Bukit Merah) in celebration of Hari Raya Aidilfitri this year," she wrote. > "Using a wedding photo to depict Malays/Singaporean Muslims celebrating Hari Raya is inappropriate. Using my wedding photo without my consent is unwarranted. Using my wedding photo as a caricature of Malay people is unacceptable." > Ms Sarah's social media post has been liked by more than 10,000 people as of Saturday afternoon, and there were about 300 comments in response to it. > The communications specialist for an international humanitarian aid organisation said in her letter to the authorities, shared on Instagram, that not only was this "disregard for copyright laws", it was "tone deaf" as PA used a photo of the couple in traditional Malay wedding outfits to depict Hari Raya. > Advertisement > Advertisement > When contacted, Ms Sarah said that the photo was taken at her wedding in 2017. Two friends shared an Instagram story with her after they recognised the cut-out standee as a photo of her and her husband. > "I was honestly taken aback – it's one thing to have my photo used without my permission for a government-related 'celebration' and another to have our faces cut out for other people to put theirs through and take photographs of," she said. > "As an ethnic minority living in Singapore, this also felt too familiar. This isn't new – seeing others have a superficial understanding of my culture and then feeling like I have to explain it. It's exhausting." > "THEATRICAL ELEMENTS FOR CLOWNERY AND AMUSEMENT" > Advertisement > Ms Sarah then sent an email with the letter to Radin Mas Member of Parliament Melvin Yong, Radin Mas SMC, Tanjong Pagar Town Council and the Chief Executive Director of PA, Mr Lim Hock Yu. > She said that Mr Lim replied to her email and apologised, saying that he has instructed his staff to take the standee down immediately, and that PA will conduct an investigation to find out how it happened. > "Minister Edwin Tong has also separately apologised to me privately and acknowledged that the incident is inappropriate and insensitive. He also said that he has asked PA and Radin Mas SMC to look into the matter and will let me know how this happened," she told CNA. > > Mr Tong is the Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Law. He is also the deputy chairman of PA. > "We definitely do not consent to our images being made into theatrical elements for clownery and amusement," said Ms Sarah. "I hope that organisations like the PA, whose mission and goals are to promote racial harmony and build social cohesion in Singapore are able to go beyond superficial understanding of ethnic minority cultures. Diversity starts at the top. > "It shows that we need more diverse voices in leadership positions within organisations that work with the Government and are meant to promote racial harmony and social cohesion." > PA SAYS IT TAKES BREACH SERIOUSLY > In response to CNA queries, Mr Yong said: "The Hari Raya decoration was meant to add some festive cheer for our residents amid this pandemic. The decoration has been taken down." > PA said that the Radin Mas Constituency Office had engaged a vendor, Warabi Enterprise (Art Studio), to design and put up Hari Raya decorations at the Tiong Bahru Orchid estate. > "The vendor came up with the concept and design for the decorations. Unfortunately, in doing so, they downloaded and used Ms Sarah Bagharib's photo from an online source and then used it for a cut-out standee. > "These decorations, including the standee, were then put up by Radin Mas Constituency Office. > "This should not have happened," PA said in a statement. > PA acknowledged that neither the vendor nor Radin Mas Constituency Office obtained permission to use the photo. It has spoken to the vendor on "the seriousness of this infringement", and will follow up with the appropriate steps, it said. > "Nonetheless the PA, including Radin Mas Constituency Office, take responsibility for this error as we had oversight of the matter, and the decorations were allowed to be put up," the statement said. > "We take such breaches, including copyright violations, seriously. We will put in place stricter internal controls and processes to ensure this does not happen again." > PA also said it regretted the use of the wedding photo to depict Hari Raya celebrations, saying that this was "not appropriate". > "We will take steps to guide and help our staff and, as far as possible, external vendors as well, to be more culturally-attuned and sensitive. > "We have apologised unreservedly to Ms Sarah Bagharib and her family for the distress which our mistake has caused," said PA. > "We have given her an explanation of the circumstances which led to the error and have also offered to meet with her to address any other queries which she might have. > "As soon as we were made aware of the issue, we immediately removed the standee." > > Radin Mas Constituency Office and a representative of Warabi Enterprise also apologised to Ms Bagharib in her Instagram post. > Radin Mas Constituency Office wrote in the comments using its Instagram account: "We would also like to apologise to Ms Sarah and the Malay/Muslim community on the inappropriate choice of photo. > "We acknowledge that the use of a photograph of a bride and groom in traditional Malay outfit does not represent Hari Raya. We will be more mindful going forward." > --- 1.0.2 | [Source code](https://github.com/fterh/sneakpeek) | [Contribute](https://github.com/fterh/sneakpeek)


Using a couple dressed in wedding attire to promote Hari Raya? Do people wear tuxedos for Christmas? This is the casual racism people are denying is happening. Its ignorant but it leads to much bigger problemsz


It's copyright infringement. I wonder if the couple will take this matter further.




So out of touch


the PA costs the taxpayer $796 million every year and this is what the money is spent on?


Standees of face cut out like at the amusement park, lmaooo


Heads need to roll. We have a culture of no one at the top taking personal responsibility for incidents like this. Edwin Tong apologizing is cheap talk. I hope Singaporeans will realize that for something like that to happen within PA, scores of people who should have known better given their role in an organization supposed to foster social cohesion failed. Systems of basic corporate policy education and sensitivity training were either perfunctory or completely absent. These systems should have been set in place from the top. PA leadership needs to take responsibility and somebody important has to step down. I know Singaporeans don't favour top leadership stepping down for failures of the organisation but I think we need to see these incidents as more than isolated cases, more than putting out small fires on the fringe. I honestly don't care if leadership is paid $1 million a year or none at all, if you're supposed to lead and it's clear your organization has failed, please let someone else lead. You're not the right person to fix it.


This incident gave me the feeling that PA’s employee diversity just isn’t as high as it should be. Wouldn’t someone have caught this mistake before it became actuality if they were a part of the culture?


typically tone deaf


Wonder how many people took their photo with the standee... assuming the event has already happened


PA is a political body masquerading as a "grassroots" stat board. Not surprised at the lows they will stoop to considering who their paymasters are. I just heaved a huge sigh of relief this happened in a PAP ward and not in oppo territory if not you will see certain ministers politicizing it in parliament. Luckily this whole thing will blow over within a few days and swept under the carpet with a simple apology "Let's move on, honest mistake ya?"


From the client to the vendor. Along with everyone between. There wasn’t a single Malay around to raise concern. Our People’s Association is quite the model of social integration & cultural sensibilities.


No blame culture pls hindsight is 20/20


This PA hari raya debacle and the dumbass cafe with their no nasties nasi padang. It seems like Preetipls needs to make another rap song.


We need jade Rasif to make noise on this. Kind of fucked


Ignorance at its finest, just depend on vendor to do their DD zz


Cultural appropriation and stealing photos, aren’t we surprised by PA?


Business as usual: superficial and perfunctory.


At least they didn't photoshop any part of the photo (eg hold goodies instead of flowers)


Cb buy your own stock image la


Anyhow kope, worse than Glariel siol.


No blame culture ok


Cheap no good, good no cheap Referring to contractors


Hard to do this on the ethnic angle but I would definitely sue until pants drop for using photo without permission.