Ex-Ngee Ann Poly lecturer to be charged over racist remarks to couple, insensitive comments on religion

Former Ngee Ann Polytechnic lecturer Tan Boon Lee (right) made racist remarks to an interracial couple last year. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DAVE PARKASH/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - A 61-year-old man will be charged on Tuesday (May 17) over multiple incidents where he allegedly made racist remarks and insensitive comments about religion.

He will also be charged over the possession of obscene films, said the police in a statement on Monday night.

The Straits Times understands that the man is former Ngee Ann Polytechnic senior lecturer Tan Boon Lee, who was sacked for serious misconduct after a video was posted on June 6 last year showing him making racist remarks to an interracial couple in Orchard Road.

He was not named in the police statement.

The police said he allegedly passed racist remarks to a 26-year-old man in the vicinity of Angullia Park on June 5 last year.

He also allegedly made insensitive remarks about religion during a lecture at Ngee Ann Polytechnic on July 28, 2017, and is believed to have provided insensitive answers about religion in response to questions on an online forum between Aug 10, 2020, and Sept 13 the same year.

Altogether, he faces four charges.

If convicted of uttering of words with the deliberate intention of wounding the racial feelings of a person, he faces jail of up to three years, a fine, or both.

If guilty of committing an act prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups, he faces jail of up to three years, a fine, or both.

He could also be jailed for up to 12 months, fined up to $40,000, or both, if convicted of possessing obscene films.

The police said they take a serious view of acts that have the potential to harm racial harmony in Singapore.

"Any person who makes remarks or acts in a manner which causes ill will and hostility between the different races or religious groups in Singapore will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the law," they added.

Remote video URL

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.