"No banglas, no maids, no uglies': Upcoming S'pore dating app draws flak for 'racist' ad

An upcoming dating app called Highblood has drawn flak from netizens not just for its exclusivity but also its racism.

An ad posted on the app's Facebook page said:

"No banglas, no maids, no uglies, no fakes/bots, no escorts. 

"Just. Pure. Quality.

"Like you."

Netizens were incredulous at the fact that such an app exists.

"Seriously? This cannot possibly be real," commented Indulekshmi Rajeswari.

"Please wake up one day and begin to be very VERY ashamed of this ad. I wish nothing but failure for your commercial endeavors," wrote Dan Owen.

"You and Adolf Hitler would get along very well," Shab Kumar wrote in reply to the ad.

In Highblood's About section, it says that the app is the first accountant-audited app and that users swipe based on verified information that includes income, profession and education, specifically "prestige schools".

Owner Herbert Eng released a statement insisting that his app is not racist:

"We are not racist because science has conclusively proven that genetically, and if you assume intelligence to be the objective dimension of comparison, there are no differences between the races.

"What does manifests in Asian culture however, and especially in Singapore, is a certain racial preference when it comes to dating — we are merely responding to honest (however politically incorrect) feedback respondents have given us when we asked them what they find insufferable in dating apps. 

"Additionally, when probed further, some of them revealed that the preference was occupational rather than racial. 

"Because of the nature of our app, we would like to interpret the terms as pertaining to occupations rather than a certain ethnicity. 

"Interestingly, we would also like to question critics, does having a racial preference in considering a life partner make one racist?

He also denied being 'classist':

"Elite dating apps typically focus on exclusivity and being invite-only, which is okay but not robust because who’s to say app creators have the sole right to decide who’s in and who’s out? 

"Conversely, HighBlood serves as neutral custodians of objective facts. We only verify information and leave the yardsticks and judging to the users. 

"The process of denying entry into HighBlood is also performed by existing users. 

"We’re here to improve the landscape of online dating as a whole in our commitment to eliminate fake profiles.

"I am very, very determined to improve veracity in the general Internet landscape and eliminate bots and fake profiles in online dating through our fact verification system described earlier. 

"I happen to be a victim of catfishing myself.