Police probing man over racist remarks, breach of circuit breaker rules

A 52-year-old man who allegedly made racist remarks and breached Covid-19 circuit breaker measures is being investigated by the police.

The incident took place at about 6pm last Friday, when the man visited a grocery store at Block 651 Jurong West Street 61 to buy a packet of soya milk, the police said last Saturday.

The store supervisor denied the man entry and declined to sell the item to him, as he was not wearing a mask.

The man took offence and allegedly hurled racist remarks and vulgarities at the supervisor. He also attributed the source of the virus outbreak to Chinese people.

Last Saturday, the police received several reports on a video clip of the incident circulating online.

Officers from the Bedok Police Division subsequently established the man's identity and traced him within three hours.

Police investigations are ongoing.

A person who makes remarks with a deliberate intent to wound the racial feelings of another can be jailed for up to three years or fined, or both.

The offence of causing intentional harassment carries a fine of up to $5,000, a jail term of up to six months, or both.

Those who fail to wear a mask when out during the circuit breaker can be fined $300 for the first offence, and $1,000 for the second offence. Egregious cases will face prosecution in court.

A screengrab from a video clip circulating on social media, showing a man who was denied entry to a store for not wearing a mask.

The police force said it takes acts that can threaten Singapore's racial harmony "very seriously".

It added that anyone who makes remarks that can breed ill will and hostility between the different races "will be dealt with swiftly and firmly".

The police also urged the public to take the circuit breaker measures seriously.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 21, 2020, with the headline Police probing man over racist remarks, breach of circuit breaker rules. Subscribe