Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and other ministers in Singapore have shared Facebook posts on May 10 evening in response to an alleged attack involving a man who hurled vulgarities and racial slur at a 55-year-old Singaporean woman.
The woman was not wearing her mask as she was brisk walking. To avoid conflict, the woman tried to walk away, but the man allegedly ran towards her and kicked her in her chest, causing the old woman to fall to the ground .
Police investigations are ongoing.
Violence should never be a response
Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu responded that while Covid-19 has brought out the best in people, it is "unfortunate"that discriminatory behaviour and violent xenophobic attacks stemming from fear and intolerance have surfaced during the pandemic.
"We felt indignant when Asians were attacked merely because of their race in other countries. Let us not allow such behaviour to take root here."
Fu urged members of the public to speak kindly to those who are not adhering to safe management measures.
"Violence should never be a response," Fu said.
Fu also urged Singaporeans to stay united during such difficult times:
Following which, a few other ministers and PM Lee also shared Fu's post and spoke against racism and discrimination.
"Racism is unacceptable. So is xenophobia. This is not us. Let us keep in mind Singapore’s core value of unity as a society."
PM Lee said that he is very disappointed and seriously concerned by the incident. He added that he is confident that the police will establish the facts and bring the perpetrator to justice.
"There is no place for such behaviour here. We must stand united against racism," he urged.
Responses from other ministers
Outgoing Minister for Transport (and incoming Health Minister) Ong Ye Kung said, "Discrimination and racism is worse than the virus."Soon-to-be Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said he is "saddened" by the incident and added that we should not let "the angst and the apprehensions" to divide us.Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam said the alleged attack was simply "unacceptable".
Top image via Parveen Kaur/IG and Grace Fu/FB