Singapore GE2020: Police reports made against DPM Heng for remarks on non-Chinese PM; AGC says no offence committed

The police said DPM Heng’s remarks, in the context they were made, do not evidence any intent to wound anyone’s racial feelings or promote enmity between different races. ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

SINGAPORE - The police on Tuesday (July 7) confirmed that police reports were made against Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, over his remarks at a March 2019 forum that Singapore was not yet ready for a non-Chinese prime minister.

In a statement, the police said it consulted the Attorney-General's Chambers, which advised that no offence was committed.

"Mr Heng's remarks, in the context they were made, do not evidence any intent to wound anyone's racial feelings or promote enmity between different races," the police said.

Mr Heng, who is leading the People's Action Party team contesting East Coast GRC in the general election, had made the remarks at a forum at the Nanyang Technological University in response to a question on whether it was Singapore or the ruling party that was unprepared for a minority-race prime minister.

He said then that based on his interactions with residents in past elections, views supportive of a non-Chinese PM are not as common among people from the older generation.

According to a screen shot posted online of one of the police reports against Mr Heng, it was made on Sunday (July 5) night hours after the police said it was investigating Workers' Party's Sengkang GRC candidate Raeesah Khan in relation to comments she allegedly made on discrimination by Singapore's law enforcement authorities against minorities.

Ms Khan, 26, apologised that same night at an unplanned press conference, saying that she did not mean to cause social division, but had made the remarks as she wanted to raise awareness about minority concerns.

Since news broke of the investigation against Ms Khan, social media posts where netizens have claimed to have made police reports against other political office holders have also surfaced.

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