A photograph of the body of one of the two workers killed in the SMRT accident made the rounds online yesterday.
The picture, which showed Mr Muhammad Asyraf Ahmad Buhari’s body lying on the MRT track, was seen by some of his family members before they received the news that he had died.
Mr Asyraf’s father, Mr Ahmad Buhari, 61, told The New Paper he saw the photograph when he was in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
He said in a mix of Malay and English: “I was very sad when I saw the picture. But at the same time, I also realised that my son had died with honour while he was doing his job.”
The photograph was posted on social media, websites and forums and circulated on messaging app WhatsApp.
The picture, which showed the 24-year-old’s full name and IC number, appears to have been taken from a screen.
His cousin, Mr Muhd Kamal, 24, urged people to stop circulating the “distasteful” picture, saying it was disrespectful to the deceased.
The undergraduate said: “Our family is upset and disgusted that the picture is being circulated.
“Even if they wanted to spread the message that my cousin passed away while he was on the job, it was done in poor taste.
“I don’t know who is responsible, but it might be a lapse to even have this picture on a screen like that.”
SMRT declined comment about the photograph.
Singapore Management University social media expert Dr Michael Netzley agreed that the circulation of the photo was in poor form and bad taste.
He said: “The sheer number of people on social media means there will be a broad cross section of society involved. It will be inevitable that there will be some people who will be interested in something they will never get to see on TV or in newspapers – where editors and producers will make a decision to censor such images.
“The only solid response in such a situation is to disconnect those who spread such photos from the network.”
Dr Netzley said that while companies are unable to control their employees, they should set clear guidelines and hold their employees accountable when these rules are broken.
This article was first published on March 24, 2016.
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