Mindef probing alleged derogatory comments

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) is looking into allegations made by a netizen about Republic of Singapore Navy sailors making derogatory remarks about a Muslim colleague on board their ship.

The woman, who claims to be the girlfriend of the Chinese-Muslim navy regular, accused the sailors of using labels like "Muslim" and "terrorist" to address him, instead of his name. She also alleged that the men on board teased her boyfriend about not eating pork.

The taunts were allegedly started by a "high-ranking officer" on board the ship, the woman claimed. It is not known when she posted the comments on her Instagram account. Her post was carried on a Malay sociopolitical website, www. rilek1corner.com.

It also made its way into online forums and The Reservist community Facebook page.

Attempts to find the original post were not successful as it is believed it has been taken down. The woman also cannot be reached.

Mindef said on its Cyberpioneer Facebook page on Tuesday that it takes such allegations seriously as it "impacts public trust and undermines the strong public support for national service (NS) and the SAF".

"Mindef/SAF does not tolerate any discriminatory behaviour and is investigating to determine the facts of the case.

"We take a serious view of the conduct of our servicemen. If any service personnel is found to have breached our Code of Conduct, disciplinary proceedings will be convened and the necessary actions will be taken."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 20, 2015, with the headline 'Mindef probing alleged derogatory comments'. Print Edition | Subscribe