It’s a matter of great concern as cases of racial discrimination and intolerance continue to rise. In another shocking incident, an Indian-Singaporean took to Facebook to share how his Chinese-Singaporean neighbour misbehaved while he was praying.
Racism Laws In Singapore Couldn’t Stop This Woman From Misbehaving
Indian-Singaporean, Livanesh Ramu, shared a video of the incident on Facebook and described what transpired.
In the video– which has now been shared by 1.7k users– he can be seen using a handheld prayer bell. But just as he steps out for prayer, his Chinese neighbour barges into the frame and disturbs Ramu’s prayer by loudly beating a dong.
In his post, Ramu described, “Like many other Hindus, this has been a part of our family’s 5-minute, twice a week prayer routine. Having lived in this home for more than 20 years we never had any issues. I guess with COVID we have a new norm.”
Soon after posting the video, he received several supportive messages from Singaporeans, most of whom lauded him for his calmness. While others pointed that the lady was a minority in the largely racially equitable island nation.
One user wrote, “This is disrespectful and downright shameful on that lady. And the look on her face!!!! Epic”
Another user wondered why people have become far less considerate today. She questioned, “I have a neighbour like u also Indian… it’s normal… it’s their ritual n religion..not so loud they ring the bell. is juz less than 8mins then they are done..y can’t the lady be more considerate?”
Thankfully, the video managed to reach the police just in time, who intervened and are now working with Ramu to sort the matter. As he later added to his post, “The Singapore Police Force has reached out to us. We are coordinating with them at the moment.”
While this incident has shed light on the menace of racism in Singapore, it is not the reality of this progressive island nation.
Most Singaporeans, especially young parents, are raising their children to become more educated on such subjects and of course, open to all belief systems and cultures.
What Real Singaporeans Feel About The Issue
As Roshni Mahtani Cheung, Group CEO & Founder, theAsianparent, puts it, “I am not sure what triggered the woman to act out in such a manner – but as a country, we Singaporeans need to be more tolerant and not get so agitated by small things.”
“For those of us who are parents, we need to check our own behaviour. Ask ourselves if we are doing enough to expose our child to different cultures, religions and belief systems,” adds the young mum.
Not just local Singaporeans, but expats in Singapore also believe that this is a one off incident and doesn’t reflect Singapore’s inclusivity.
“I have never faced any such issues. In fact, I have always been welcomed and felt safe being in Singapore. The current issues are one of cases. It doesn’t represent the community here and I am fortunate to be allowed to stay in this country with my family,” shared Vineeth Kallarakkal, head of marketing, theAsianparent. Kallarakkal has been living in Singapore for eight years now and is originally from India.
Although this unfortunate incident has highlighted the need for more awareness, we cannot overlook the promptness of Singapore Police Force that further proves the sanctity of racism laws in Singapore.
Racism Law In Singapore: Here’s What Happens To Offenders
From the Penal Code to the Protection from Harassment Act, Singapore has a range of laws to guard citizens against racism. In fact, these laws can also be invoked even if there was no intention to hurt racial or religious feelings.
The laws apply to comments made online and also when a non-verbal gesture was made in public.
According to The Straits Times report, lawyers note that other than racial enmity laws, authorities can investigate such actions under the Protection from Harassment Act and the Sedition Act. There are also other provisions in the penal code which may apply, such as public nuisance.
These rules are proof that those who harass fellow citizens not only take the law into their own hands but also instil fear.
So the best possible solution to this issue is that we must teach ourselves and our future generations to spread love and not hatred. Let’s make this a safer place for everybody and continue to live in harmony.