An elitist, racist dating app is making waves in Singapore — and its founder is defending it vehemently.
Herbert Eng is calling his app HighBlood. It promises to filter people based on "accountant-verified information" covering income, profession, and university education.
A week ago, it made a Facebook post advertising itself. In the text, it says the app promises "quality", and specifies that it will exclude "banglas", "maids", and "uglies."
The post was spotted by journalist Kirsten Han, who tweeted: "I have no words":
Obviously, people are incensed.
The term "banglas" is a racist term for the Bangladeshi migrant workers in Singapore. As of last year, there were 315,000 construction workers here.
There are also a sizable number of domestic helpers, at around 239,700, who come from neighbouring countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia and Myanmar.
We reached out to Eng, who said via email that HighBlood was meant to evoke a "ruling class trope popular in Korean drama shows," as well as point to a "vampire high society [or] elite cabal."
He added that the app's offensive stance is meant to "violate norms regarding political correctness."
He also claims that over a hundred have signed up already.
On the backlash his advert has received, Eng said: "We are not racist because science has conclusively proven that genetically...there are no differences between the races."
"We would like to interpret the [racist] terms as pertaining to occupation, rather than a certain ethnicity."
In an earlier Medium post he made in December, Eng said his app would allow filtering by "prestigious schools."
New users will only be allowed into the app after three out of five random users assigned to them agree to let them in.
If you keep failing, you can pay S$100 ($72) to bypass the requirement, he added.
Eng's previous creation, FessUp, is similar to anonymous apps like Whisper and Yik Yak.