Singapore

Police investigating after racist remarks made to interracial couple

The police are investigating an incident in which a Chinese man was caught on camera making racist remarks to an interracial couple. A video of the incident has been circulating on social media.

Commenting on the video in a Facebook post yesterday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that while he does not have the full facts of the story, it seems like more people are finding it acceptable to make "in-your-face" racist statements openly.

Describing the incident as quite unacceptable and very worrying, Mr Shanmugam 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" any more.

The police said reports have been lodged about the incident, and a 60-year-old man is currently assisting with police investigations.

A five-minute video of the confrontation was shared by Facebook user Dave Parkash, 23. It was filmed by his girlfriend.

In it, a Chinese man accuses Mr Parkash of "preying on a Chinese girl", adding that the "Chinese don't like it".

Pointing at the Chinese woman, he also said she was disgracing him by being in the relationship.

The exchange appeared to have taken place on a pedestrian pathway in Orchard Road.

The man called Mr Parkash racist, saying: "If you are proud of your own race, you marry an Indian girl."

In the video, Mr Parkash also clarified that he is half-Indian and half-Filipino while his girlfriend is half-Singaporean Chinese and half-Thai.

When Mr Parkash called his remarks racist, the man admitted he was but retorted: "You are the example of racism. You don't see a Chinese guy preying on an Indian girl."

In his post on Sunday morning, Mr Parkash said he felt "embarrassed, humiliated and hurt" by the way he was treated by a fellow Singaporean.

He added: "To this man who may end up watching this, I hope you learn to stop being a racist and let us all live in harmony."

The incident comes weeks after an alleged racist attack on an Indian woman.

Madam Hindocha Nita Vishnubhai, 55, had been brisk walking towards Choa Chu Kang Stadium when a Chinese man shouted racial slurs at her for lowering her mask below her nose and kicked her in the chest.

Condemning that incident in Parliament, Mr Shanmugam said the pandemic had stoked such sentiments lately and stressed that Singapore must not allow xenophobia and racism to become prevalent.

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