A polytechnic in Singapore has said that it will sack one of its senior lecturers after he was caught on video making racist remarks to an interracial couple at the popular Orchard Road shopping area, The Straits Times (ST) reports.
Tan Boon Lee, who taught at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s (NP) school of engineering, was filmed on June 6 confronting a man who identified himself as half-Indian and half-Filipino.
In the approximately five-minute clip taken by the man’s girlfriend, who was half-Chinese and half-Thai, Tan said among others that Chinese women should not be with Indian men.
He also accused the man of “preying on a Chinese girl”.
“If you are proud of your own race, then you marry an Indian girl,” he is heard saying.
“I have nothing against Indians but I think it’s racist that Indians would marry a Chinese girl.”
When the man told him that he was “not even a full Indian”, Tan said: “Why not?” to which the man responded: “Ask my parents that.”
The man, who identified himself as Dave Parkash, later posted the video on Facebook where it quickly went viral. It also sparked a police investigation after multiple reports were lodged on the incident.
“If you think that the Chinese are very proud that the Indians are marrying the Chinese, you’re wrong,” Tan is heard telling Parkash.
“I have nothing against you but I think it’s racist that the Indians prey on Chinese girls. I know that you are preying on a Chinese girl, and the Chinese are not happy about it.”
Tan was suspended from his teaching duties after the incident, ST reported.
In a statement today cited by ST, NP said it had conducted an internal investigation into the matter as well as a separate incident in which Tan was accused of making Islamophobic comments in a class in 2017.
“Our staff members are expected to respect cultural, ethnic and religious differences in our society,” it said.
“They must uphold secularity and impartiality at all times.”