Singapore

Foodcourt signage incident not a result of policy, says NTU president

The stall operators who were asked to replace bilingual signs with English-only ones were acting on "instructions" that were "not sanctioned through any... policy" of Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

University president Bertil Andersson confirmed in a statement yesterday that the university has no policy prohibiting the use of Chinese language on signboards at food stalls or retail spaces.

The statement comes after media reports that stalls at a foodcourt on campus, operated by the Select Group, were asked to replace signs with English-only ones, ahead of a contract renewal in August.

Prof Andersson said "the problems arose as a result of instructions given to foodcourt operators to present their signages in English only".

Stall holders have been informed that as long as information is provided in English, any of the three official languages can be used on signages.

NTU will reimburse any stall holders who have already incurred costs to make new signs.

The school will conduct a "thorough" investigation, which may take six to eight weeks to complete.

"If the investigation should find that staff did not act in line with NTU policies and its values, they will be held accountable," said Prof Andersson.

"We accept responsibility for this incident and for the initial responses to the media which, with the benefit of hindsight, did not address the lapse clearly," he added.

"We offer no excuses for what has happened that has resulted in anguish and anxieties among members of the Chinese community."

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