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The Straits Times
June 7, 2021
A man accused of accosting an interracial couple in Orchard Road on Saturday evening (June 5) and making racist remarks against them has been suspended from his teaching duties, said Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP).
In response to queries from The Straits Times (ST), an NP spokesman confirmed on Monday that the man is a member of its staff.
"We take a very serious view of the matter as the remarks made by the individual are highly offensive, disrespectful and goes against our staff code of conduct and values as a community," said the spokesman.
ST understands that the man is an engineering lecturer at the polytechnic.
The polytechnic is conducting an investigation internally, and it is considering the appropriate disciplinary action to be taken.
The police said on Sunday that a 60-year-old man is currently assisting with investigations.
In a video that was widely circulated online, a Chinese man could be seen confronting an interracial couple, telling them that it was a disgrace for a Chinese girl and an Indian man to be together.
The video was uploaded on Facebook on Sunday morning by Mr Dave Parkash, whom the Chinese man accused of "preying on a Chinese girl".
Since it went online, the video has garnered more than 16,000 shares, with various MPs condemning the Chinese man.
Speaking to ST on Monday, Mr Parkash, 26, said that he was shocked by the encounter, but heartened by the overwhelming support from netizens, noting that a few of them have lodged police reports on the couple's behalf.
Mr Parkash said he had uploaded the video on the Internet as he felt compelled to raise awareness that such racism still continues to exist in Singapore, though he had not expected the video to go viral.
My name is Dave Parkash. I am a Singaporean. Today i feel embarrassed, humiliated and hurt by how i was treated by another fellow Singaporean. My girlfriend and I was confronted by a man who told us that we should only be dating with people of our own race. He called himself a racist and even blamed us for being racist just because my gf and I are from different races. He humilated us in public by shaming both her and I like as though we did something wrong. I come from a mixed race background and so is my gf. We both are mixed race but we are proud to be Singapoeans. I feel we shouldn't be publicly shamed just because of our skin colour. Love is love. Love has no race love has no religion. You and I should be able to love whoever we wanna love. Lets not become like this man in the video. To this man who may end up watching this, I hope you learn to stop being a racist and let us all live in harmony. Last but not least life's too short, LET US SPREAD LOVE AND NOT HATE AND MAY THIS MESSAGE EDUCATE. #STOPRACISM #Sharethisvideo #SGUnited
Posted by Dave Park Ash on Saturday, June 5, 2021
Mr Parkash was with his girlfriend, Ms Jacqueline Ho, 27, on Saturday night in Orchard Road when they were approached by the Chinese man, who said that it was a disgrace for a Chinese girl and an Indian man to be together, among other disparaging remarks.
Shocked at the remark, Mr Parkash confronted the man, while Ms Ho began recording the nine-minute-long video.
Mr Parkash said that by posting the video online, he hoped that people will know it is "not okay to shame others based on their race and skin colour".
"We shouldn't normalise (such racism) and sweep it under the rug, but instead be brave and stand up against it," said Mr Parkash, who owns an ice-cream shop.
He said it was not the first time that he had experienced racism when he was out with Ms Ho, although this latest incident was particularly humiliating.
Throughout their seven-year relationship, there have been instances where people would look disapprovingly at them, said Mr Parkash, who regarded this as "subtle racism".
Mr Dave Parkash and Ms Jacqueline Ho have been in a relationship for seven years. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM DAVE PARK ASH/FACEBOOK
He is of Indian and Filipino parentage, while his girlfriend, Ms Ho, a UX (user experience) designer, is half-Thai and half-Singaporean Chinese.
"It used to make us really uncomfortable, but over the years, we've learnt that we really are not doing anything wrong, and shouldn't let this bother us," he added.
Mr Parkash said that their parents had always been supportive of their relationship and were shocked to learn about the encounter.
However, they were glad that he had stood his ground throughout the confrontation, and that the stigma towards interracial relationships can now be discussed in the public sphere since the video has gone viral, he added.