Singaporeans fume as BBC News mistakenly labels Joseph Schooling as 'Malaysian'
KUALA LUMPUR: British public service broadcaster BBC News came under criticism from netizens today after it mistakenly labeled Singaporean Olympic gold medalist Joseph Schooling as Malaysian.
BBC News today posted a video on Facebook, chronicling its favourite moments of the recently concluded Rio Olympics.
Among the video’s highlights were the ‘bromance’ between Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt and Canada’s Andre De Grasse in the men’s 200m semi-final, the selfie shared between a North Korean and South Korean gymnast, and a ‘barely there’ German beach volleyball female player versus a hijab-clad Egyptian player.
BBC News also included Joseph Schooling’s victory over the United States’ Michael Phelps in the men’s butterfly final as among its favourite moments of the Games.
The only problem was, BBC News featured the text: “Joseph Schooling of Malaysia can’t believe he has beaten Michael Phelps in the Men’s butterfly final” in the description.
Netizens naturally wasted no time in pointing out the error.
Facebook user Victoria Murphy tried to get BBC News to amend the error before any Singaporeans spot it.
“Hmmmmm. I think you will find Schooling is from Singapore and not Malaysia. Disappointed BBC, this is huge news for them. First ever gold medal in the Olympics, rather important to them. Hope they don’t see that you said he was from Malaysia,” she wrote.
However, it would appear that her warning came a little late.
“This Singaporean saw. Big booboo BBC,” wrote Fadilah Alkaff.
Another Singaporean, Aloysius Lim, appeared less magnanimous and took a dig at Malaysia.
“Yes, Schooling is from our tiny island, Singapore. And please don’t rub it in to Malaysia, who has not gotten gold yet despite 4 silvers… And to think they were part of your empire…,” he wrote.
Malaysians however, saw the funny side of things. Selina Sue said Malaysia was also proud of Schooling.
“Yeah.. We Malaysians are riding high for Schooling too coz his Mom hails from Ipoh, a town in Malaysia.. We are proud of this boy too.”
Another commenter, Catryn, wrote: “Schooling is not from Malaysia.. Although I wish he was. Lol.”
The video has to date garnered more than 500 shares and almost 80,000 views.
At press time, it was still available on BBC News’ Facebook page.