File photo of Merlion Park, a popular tourist destination in Singapore. | Pixabay
Representatioal image | Merlion Park, a popular tourist destination in Singapore. | Pixabay
Text Size:

Singapore: Singapore police have arrested a 30-year-old Chinese man for allegedly assaulting an Indian-origin woman and subjecting her to racial slurs for not wearing a mask while she was brisk walking last week.

The man was arrested for public nuisance, uttering words with intent to wound the racial feelings of others and voluntarily causing hurt, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) was quoted as saying by the Channel News Asia on Tuesday.

The woman was walking along a walkway at Choa Chu Kang Drive at about 8.45am on Friday when she was confronted by a Chinese couple who told her to wear her mask properly as a safety measure, police said.

She purportedly got into a verbal exchange with the man. The man allegedly uttered an offensive racial remark and assaulted her, causing her to fall to the ground, the police said.

The couple then left the scene and the 55-year-old woman, identified as Hindocha Nita Vishnubhai, a private tutor, was assisted by a member of the public.

Investigations into the incident are on, police said.

If found guilty of public nuisance, the man could be jailed for up to three months, fined up to SGD 2,000 (USD 1,509), or both.

For uttering words with deliberate intent to wound the racial feelings of any person, the punishment is an imprisonment term of up to three years, a fine, or both.

The offence for voluntarily causing hurt carries an imprisonment term of up to three years, a fine of up to SGD 5,000 (USD 3,773), or both.

“The police take a serious view of such acts that have the potential to damage racial harmony in Singapore,” it said.

“Any person who makes remarks or takes action that can cause ill-will and hostility between the different races will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the law,” the Channel quoted the police as saying.

In response to the incident, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam earlier today told parliament that Singapore will fail if the country allows racism and xenophobia to become prevalent.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other ministers have also condemned the attack on the woman who was brisk walking, one of the exercises for which wearing a face mask is exempted.

Also read: Singapore reduces entry approvals for foreigners holding work passes in view of Covid


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism