‘It was unintentional’: Malaysian singer Siti Sarah apologises for insulting Orang Asli

Sarah emphasised that she had no intention of causing offense with her remark about indigenous people's hair. — Picture from Instagram/sitisarahraisuddinAttachments area
Sarah emphasised that she had no intention of causing offense with her remark about indigenous people's hair. — Picture from Instagram/sitisarahraisuddinAttachments area

PETALING JAYA, Sept 7 — Singer Siti Sarah has apologised for insulting the Orang Asli in a recent video promoting a local beauty salon.

Sarah, whose full name is Siti Sarah Raisuddin, said the insensitive remark was “unintentional” in a press statement released by her management agency Indigital Sdn Bhd.

“I would like to state that I, Siti Sarah Raisuddin, never intended to touch on the sensitivities of any party. In fact, I respect all of Malaysian society.

“As humans, we are not exempt from making mistakes. I would like to apologise to all Malaysians, especially the Orang Asli community, for this incident.

“I hope my apology will be accepted because I never intended for this to happen. 

“I hope this issue will not be blown up any further and this statement will be the first and last you will hear from me,” Sarah was quoted as saying.

The 35-year-old artiste sparked controversy when she encouraged people to patronise a salon owned by hairstylist ‘Ridz Okumura’ and compared having dirty and unruly hair to looking like an indigenous person.

She made the comments in a TikTok video posted on Ridz’s account which was then reposted on Twitter where it went viral.

“It is so fun (at this salon), you have to come here. Even if you wear a tudung, you have to come because if not, you’ll be ashamed when you remove it.

“You’ll end up looking like an Orang Asli person,” Sarah told viewers.

In the same press statement, Sarah said she has accepted Ridz’s apology for sharing the video online without her prior approval.

The Kesetiaan singer’s remarks drew widespread criticism on social media and sparked debates on negative stereotypes about the Orang Asli community that remain prevalent in Malaysia.

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