Singapore polytechnic suspends lecturer over racist remarks against Indian-Chinese descent couple

The incident was captured on a video that was widely circulated online over the weekend

Singapore polytechnic suspends lecturer over racist remarks against Indian-Chinese descent couple

Photo for representation only. — File photo

Singapore, June 8

A Singapore polytechnic lecturer of Chinese-origin has been suspended from teaching duties for allegedly making racist remarks towards an interracial couple of a half-India and a half-Chinese descent, local media reported on Tuesday.

The incident was captured on a video that was widely circulated online over the weekend.

A spokesperson for Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) said the Chinese-origin lecturer has been suspended.

The polytechnic is aware of the video, the Channel News Asia quoted an NP spokesperson on Monday.

“We regret that the individual in question is a member of our staff. We take a very serious view of the matter as the remarks made by the individual are highly offensive, disrespectful and goes against our staff Code of Conduct and values as a community,” said the spokesperson.

“We are investigating this matter internally, including considering the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken. Meanwhile, the staff in question has been suspended from his teaching duties.” The polytechnic cannot comment further as police investigations are ongoing, said the spokesperson.

The police said on Sunday night that a 60-year-old man was assisting with investigations, after confirming that reports had been lodged and investigations were ongoing.

In the video uploaded by Dave Parkash, a man in a red polo shirt with the word "Singapore" across it can be heard telling Parkash and his girlfriend to date people of their "own race".

The man in red, who acknowledged he is a "Chinese Singaporean", then added: "I've got nothing against you personally, but I think it's racist that the Indian prey on a Chinese girl."

When Parkash, 26, called him a racist, the man in red agreed that he was. In the video, Parkash said he is "half Indian, half Filipino", while his girlfriend is "half Singaporean Chinese, half Thai".

Parkash was with his girlfriend, Jacqueline Ho, 27, on Saturday night in Orchard Road when they were approached by the Chinese man, who said that it was a disgrace for a Chinese girl and an Indian man to be together, among other disparaging remarks.

Shocked at the remark, Parkash confronted the man, while Ho began recording the nine-minute-long video.

Parkash said that by posting the video online, he hoped that people will know it is "not okay to shame others based on their race and skin colour".

Sharing the video on Facebook on Sunday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam wrote: "I used to believe that Singapore was moving in the right direction on racial tolerance and harmony. Based on recent events, I am not so sure anymore.

"If it's accurate—then it's horrible. It seems like more people are finding it acceptable, to make 'in your face' racist statements—openly. And some try to explain away, each time something like this happens,” he continued, adding that this is "quite unacceptable" and "very worrying". — PTI 

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