NUS stops all projects with ex-NMP Viswa Sadasivan following sexual harassment allegations
SINGAPORE: The National University of Singapore (NUS) said on Saturday (Feb 20) that it has discontinued all projects with former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Viswa Sadasivan and his company Strategic Moves.
This is in light of allegations of sexual harassment made by two women against Mr Viswa earlier this month.
Mr Viswa has also stepped down as a member of the NUS Alumni Advisory Board.
"The university does not condone any behaviour or action that is disrespectful and disparaging of individuals, regardless of ethnicity, gender, religion or age," said NUS in an email to alumni members on Saturday.
The two women who accused Mr Viswa of sexual harassment are stand-up comedian Sharul Channa and doctoral researcher Kiran Kandade.
In a Facebook post on Feb 4, Ms Sharul said that Mr Viswa had made a sexual comment before the recording of an online interview series earlier that day.
Mr Viswa is said to have asked Ms Sharul why she was wearing a rose brooch, to which she responded that she had put it on to distract from the pattern on her top.
According to Ms Sharul, Mr Viswa then said: "It would be more distracting if you were wearing only that rose."
In her Facebook post, Ms Sharul said that she was "taken aback by this innuendo". "It was inappropriate and offensive. I was shocked," she wrote.
Ms Sharul said she then shared her discomfort with a producer of the series and later received an emailed apology from Mr Viswa.
NUS clarified on Saturday that the series, Inconvenient Questions, is a collaboration between Strategic Moves and the National University of Singapore Society (NUSS) – a graduate club and registered society which is a separate and independent entity from the university.
Responding to Ms Sharul's Facebook post, Ms Kiran wrote in the comments section about her previous experience with Mr Viswa, posting a screenshot of a WhatsApp conversation between them.
The screenshot of the conversation, which took place on Mar 27, 2016, purportedly showed Mr Viswa asking Ms Kiran if his "proposition to kiss passionately" had offended her.
On Feb 19, Mr Viswa addressed the allegations in a statement on Facebook, saying he had apologised privately by email to Ms Kiran earlier that day.
Mr Viswa also said he had sent Ms Sharul a "full statement of 'unconditional apology' by email" on Feb 4.