More light is finally being shone on the deep-rooted problem of racism—both overt and casual, though in-your-face incidents are on the rise—in Singaporean society, much as we claim to be “one united people, regardless of race, language or religion”.
Now, finally, ministers are responding to the issue with a mixture of shock and realisation (case in point: Mr Shanmugam).
Minister Responded to NP Lecturer Who Made Racist Remark; Said He Could Be Fired
Second Minister for Education, Mr Maliki Osman, said that the racist lecturer from Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) could be dismissed, after having been suspended from the school.
In his Facebook post, Mr Maliki wrote that he was very “shocked and disappointed” that the man took to sharing his “personal and derogatory views of Islam” in his class in the polytechnic.
This comes after one of his former students, Ms Nurul Fatimah Iskandar, bravely spoke out about her uncomfortable experience with the lecturer in NP.
The minister warned that both NP and the Ministry of Education (MOE) took a serious view of the incident and the latter will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against the racist lecturer, including his dismissal if appropriate.
Mr Maliki added that MOE and Singapore’s education institutions have “a zero-tolerance stance towards any behaviour or remark that is intentionally insensitive and derogatory to any race or religion.”
All of Singapore’s educators are expected to uphold the Code of Conduct set out by their institutions, which states clearly that they must uphold secularity and impartiality at all times.
He also highlighted how schools and institutions provide the opportunity for Singaporeans to learn about, understand and appreciate each other, as a multi-ethnic and multi-religious nation.
“There is no place for any anti-ethnic and anti-religious remarks in our education institutions, and even more so from an educator,” he wrote.
According to CNA, NP is currently investigating the matter and has reached out to Ms Nurul to assist them with more information.
“We strive to ensure that our campus remains a safe and conducive space for learning at all times, and we deeply regret the experience our alumnus went through,” its spokesperson said.
They urged students and alumni who have had “similar experiences” to contact the school at [email protected]
Former NP Student Claimed That Racist Lecturer Had Spoken About Religion During Lecture
In her Facebook post, she recounted that on 28 July 2017, the lecturer in question used their class to have a “full-on discourse” about Islam.
Some of the things he said were apparently so upsetting that the woman decided to leave the classroom in the middle of his “lecture”.
According to the post, the lecturer had displayed certain websites using the projector and brought up tenets of Islam that he disagreed with.
“Everything I quoted him say[ing]… were barely the tip of the iceberg. I remember being livid. I remember trying to build up the courage to finally make a complaint. I remember nothing happening,” the woman said.
The woman said she was the only Muslim in class, and that the lecturer tried asking her for her views on his opinions.
“He even pointed to me (who made the unfortunate decision to sit in the front row) and asked if I agreed with what he was saying. I could barely open my mouth amidst his continuous sweeping statements,” she said.
The woman ended up leaving the classroom halfway through the lecture as she was offended by what he said.
Read her full post, here:
Featured Image: Facebook