Progress Singapore Party expels member behind offensive post on NUS Atheist Society Facebook page

Progress Singapore Party expels member behind offensive post on NUS Atheist Society Facebook page

Jan Chan
Suspended Progress Singapore Party member Jan Chan. (Photo: Facebook/Jan Chan)

SINGAPORE: The Progress Singapore Party (PSP) said on Saturday (Mar 21) it had expelled a party member who wrote an "insensitive and offensive post" on the NUS Atheist Society Facebook page. 

Police said on Friday they were investigating after a Facebook page named NUS Atheist Society put up a post suggesting the Bible and the Quran as alternatives to be used in the event of toilet paper shortage.

On Saturday, PSP uploaded a Facebook post announcing it had suspended Mr Jan Chan, saying it was not linked to the NUS Atheist Society and that it "views the behaviour of all our members very seriously and will endeavour to ensure that all members keep within the boundaries of the law".

Later on Saturday, a party spokesperson said the PSP had expelled Mr Chan "following internal investigations into the matter" and Mr Chan's admission that he had indeed put up the post. 

"The party highly values the multi-racial and multi-religious society that is Singapore and will not tolerate any of its members showing disrespect to any religion," the spokesperson added.  

Mr Chan had been a member since January this year, participating in several walkabouts, the spokesperson said.

READ: Police investigating offensive NUS Atheist Society post on Facebook: MHA

The Ministry of Home Affairs said on Friday that it had received a number of complaints about the post. It had asked Facebook to disable access to the "religiously offensive post" and highlighted "the importance of racial and religious harmony in our society". 
 
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam also said that the Facebook post was "very offensive" towards Muslims and Christians, adding "we take a serious view of these types of statements". 

The National University of Singapore (NUS) also wrote on Facebook to say it had "no relationship" with the NUS Atheist Society and that the Facebook page was not affiliated to the university. 
 
NUS said it had reported the NUS Atheist Society page to Facebook twice - once in 2019, and again on Mar 19, 2020. On both occasions, NUS had requested that Facebook look into the legitimacy of the account.
 
The social media company has since disabled access to the post.

Source: CNA/hm

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