Ngee Ann Polytechnic suspends teaching staff member who made racist remarks to couple in viral video

Ngee Ann Polytechnic suspends teaching staff member who made racist remarks to couple in viral video

Dave Parkash incident
In the video, a man in a red polo T-shirt tells Mr Dave Parkash (in white) that it is "racist that Indians marry Chinese girls". (Photo: Facebook/Dave Parkash)

SINGAPORE: A man who made racist remarks towards an interracial couple is a staff member at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) and the school has suspended him from teaching duties.

The incident was captured on a video that was widely circulated online over the weekend.

The polytechnic is aware of the video, said an NP spokesperson on Monday (Jun 7). 

“We regret that the individual in question is a member of our staff.

“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,” said the spokesperson. 

“We are investigating this matter internally, including considering the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken. Meanwhile, the staff in question has been suspended from his teaching duties.” 

The polytechnic cannot comment further as police investigations are ongoing, said the spokesperson. 

The police said on Sunday night that a 60-year-old man was assisting with investigations, after confirming that reports had been lodged and investigations were ongoing. 

READ: Alleged incidents of racism 'go against what we stand for in Singapore': Chan Chun Sing

In the video uploaded by Mr Dave Parkash, a man in a red polo shirt with the word "Singapore" across it can be heard telling Mr Parkash and his girlfriend to date people of their "own race". 

The man in red, who acknowledged he is a "Chinese Singaporean", then added: "I've got nothing against you personally, but I think it's racist that the Indian prey on Chinese girl." 

When Mr Parkash called him a racist, the man in red agreed that he was. In the video, Mr Parkash said he is "half Indian, half Filipino", while his girlfriend is "half Singaporean Chinese, half Thai".

READ: Shanmugam 'not so sure' Singapore moving in right direction on racial tolerance after man's racist remarks captured on video

Sharing the video on Facebook on Sunday, Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam wrote: "I used to believe that Singapore was moving in the right direction on racial tolerance and harmony. Based on recent events, I am not so sure anymore.

"If it’s accurate - then it's horrible. It seems like more people are finding it acceptable, to make 'in your face' racist statements - openly. And some try to explain away, each time something like this happens,” he continued, adding that this is "quite unacceptable" and "very worrying". 

Education Minister Chan Chun Sing also weighed in on the issue. On Monday, he cited the incident and said racial intolerance goes against Singapore's founding values as a nation.

Source: CNA/hw(ac)

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