SINGAPORE: Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other ministers spoke out on Monday (May 10) against racism in Singapore.
It comes after a man allegedly used racial slurs and kicked a 55-year-old woman for not wearing a mask while she was brisk walking. Police investigations are ongoing.
READ: Police investigating case of a man who allegedly used racial slurs, kicked woman for not wearing mask
Mr Lee said he is confident that the police will establish the facts and bring the perpetrator to justice.
"It goes against everything that our multiracial society stands for, and the mutual respect and racial harmony that we hold so dear. It harms our international reputation more than we realise," he said.
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said in a Facebook post referencing the alleged attack that while COVID-19 has brought out the best in people in difficult situations, discriminatory behaviour and "even violent xenophobic attacks" stemming from fear and intolerance have also been witnessed around the world.
"Let us not allow such behaviour to take root here," she said.
"As we battle this unprecedented pandemic, it is more important than ever for our communities to band together and foster stronger cohesion."
Minister for Transport Ong Ye Kung shared Ms Fu's Facebook post.
"It is only by standing together that we can beat this virus. Discrimination and racism (are) worse than the virus," said Mr Ong.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Tan See Leng, who also shared Ms Fu's post, said that the "angst and apprehension" during the COVID-19 crisis should not be allowed to divide and overcome people.
"We are better than this," he added.