Ngee Ann Poly to sack lecturer who made racist remarks to couple
School will also make feedback channels, including whistle-blowing e-mail address, more accessible
Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) is in the process of sacking senior lecturer Tan Boon Lee for serious misconduct.
The staff member was seen in a viral video making racist remarks to an interracial couple in Orchard Road.
The video, posted on Facebook on June 6, was filmed by Ms Jacqueline Ho, 27, and posted by Mr Dave Parkash, 26, the couple in the incident.
It has been shared over 18,000 times and received more than 10,000 comments.
Following the video, an NP alumna alleged Mr Tan, 60, had used lesson time to initiate an offensive discussion about Islam when she was his student in 2017.
The June 9 Instagram post by Ms Nurul Fatimah Iskandar, 22, now a student at the National University of Singapore, has received over 28,000 likes and more than 600 comments.
Police investigations into both incidents are ongoing.
The polytechnic had suspended Mr Tan - a lecturer at the School of Engineering - from teaching as it conducted internal investigations for both incidents.
In a statement yesterday, NP said internal investigations were complete and the school has charged the staff member in question for a "serious breach of its staff code of conduct" and is "proceeding to terminate his service".
"Our staff are expected to respect cultural, ethnic and religious differences in our society. They must uphold secularity and impartiality at all times," the polytechnic added.
As part of its internal investigation, NP said it has reached out to Ms Nurul and asked for more details to tighten its feedback processes.
NP said: "In our conversation with her, she indicated she could not recall whether she had e-mailed her feedback on the incident or raised it during a post-course focus group discussion in 2017.
"We have conducted a search of our various feedback channels and worked with our alumna for her to check her NP mailbox archives, but have not been able to locate any records of the feedback."
Nonetheless, NP apologised for the distress that Mr Tan's comments caused Ms Nurul and said it has offered her counselling support.
It said it is committed to preventing a similar incident from occurring again and will ensure that students are made aware of the appropriate channels for them to provide feedback in a safe manner.
"Moving forward, we will make all feedback channels more accessible and visible on our website, and publicise them on our campus digital screens."
These include a whistle-blowing e-mail address for students - email@example.com, a general inquiry AskNP e-mail address, course experience dialogues and student surveys.
NP added that it would be reviewing its internal feedback monitoring processes to identify and resolve gaps.