Ngee Ann Poly suspends lecturer over incident with interracial couple
Man assisting police in probe after spat with couple is a member of the teaching staff at Ngee Ann Polytechnic, school confirms
The man captured on video in a confrontation with an interracial Singaporean couple is a member of the teaching staff at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and has been suspended from his teaching duties.
Responding to queries from The New Paper, a spokesman for NP confirmed the man is a member of the staff and added: "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."
The police said on Sunday that a 60-year-old man is assisting with investigations.
In a Facebook video uploaded by Mr Dave Parkash on Sunday, the Chinese Singaporean man is heard telling Mr Parkash that he is "preying on a Chinese girl" and goes on to make several other racist comments.
Mr Parkash, 26, is half-Indian and half-Filipino while his girlfriend of seven years, Ms Jacqueline Ho, 27, is half Thai and half-Chinese Singaporean.
They are both Singaporean.
Amid a recent spike in race-related incidents, Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in a Facebook post on Sunday that "more people are finding it acceptable to make 'in your face' racist statements - openly".
He said he used to believe that Singapore was moving in the right direction in terms of racial tolerance and harmony, but in light of recent events, he is "not so sure" anymore.
Singapore Management University associate professor of law Eugene Tan said schools and institutes of higher learning should install appropriate channels for students and staff "to call out any racist conduct without fear of retribution".
"An educational institution must be a safe space for learning and for students to imbibe the right values including respect for and valuing differences," he said.
"It is all about values that undergird the institution."
Prof Tan hopes the incident will be used "as a learning opportunity... so that we can grow in our understanding of our (multiculturalism and) pluralism".
In another recent incident, an Indian Singaporean woman was reportedly kicked in the chest by an assailant, who also used racial slurs against her.
Education Minister Chan Chun Sing said on Facebook yesterday that there will inevitably be stresses and strains arising from the unprecedented challenges brought on by Covid-19.
"It is now more important than ever, that we stand united as a community," he added.
Mr Chan noted that multiracialism is a daily lived reality and source of pride here, with people living, studying, working and going through national service alongside neighbours, classmates, colleagues and citizens of different races.
"Racial intolerance goes against our founding values as a nation, and has no place in our society.
"Every one of us - parents, educators, individuals - play a part in safeguarding the treasured and hard-earned legacy of racial harmony.
"Our diversity has always been our strength, and we must never let it become our Achilles' heel," he said.