Thursday, 12 April 2012

Taoist robe in fashion show: Police reports filed

At least two Taoists have filed police reports over the use of a Taoist priest’s robe in a fashion show organised by the Floral Designers Society Singapore (FDSS) last month.

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Guanyu 道 said...

Taoist robe in fashion show: Police reports filed

By Lee Xin En
12 Aprl 2012

At least two Taoists have filed police reports over the use of a Taoist priest’s robe in a fashion show organised by the Floral Designers Society Singapore (FDSS) last month.

Both men said they decided to go to the police on Tuesday as they were upset by the defilement of their religion’s sacred robes.

Businessman Chua Kwan Ting, 52, said he felt ‘extremely offended’ when he saw the robe being used at the fashion show in a photo published in The Straits Times on Tuesday.

The photo showed a model wearing the robe walking down a runway. The picture was taken at an FDSS dinner held two weeks ago and uploaded to the society’s Facebook page recently.

Netizens who saw the photo were upset and complained to the Taoist Federation, the umbrella body for Taoist groups here.

Federation chief Tan Thiam Lye had urged devotees earlier this week not to lodge any police reports until he met the FDSS.

But Mr Chua went ahead anyway. He said: ‘As a Taoist, I feel that the use of the robe as a fashion item is not acceptable.

‘We should not sit back and do nothing about this issue.’

The second complainant is Taoist priest Yeo Kah Hean, 35, who said he felt humiliated by the photo.

Leaders of the FDSS met Mr Tan on Wednesday and apologised to the Taoist community.

After the meeting, FDSS president Christopher Lim told The Straits Times: ‘We were not aware of the religious significance of the robe as we are not clothing specialists.’

He added that, in the future, the society would be more cautious about the use of costumes during its events.

Mr Lim said the designer behind the outfit was the society’s treasurer, who is believed to be a Taoist priest and committee member of the Taoist Mission, another religious society here.

The designer could not be reached on Wednesday.

When contacted, a Taoist Mission member said the committee member was overseas and declined comment.

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