Racist ex-Ngee Ann Poly lecturer says sorry publicly to S'poreans & all via newly created Facebook account

Show of public contrition.

Belmont Lay | July 09, 2021, 04:06 PM

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Tan Boon Lee, the racist lecturer who was from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, has publicly apologised to Singaporeans and everyone he has hurt with his words.

His unexpected public apology was put up on Facebook on July 9, 2021, via a newly created Facebook account.

The apology read:

I don't have a Facebook account before. I am creating this Facebook because I want to convey my apology to the public.

On 5 June 2021, I had an encounter in public with Mr Dave Parkash and his partner, Ms Jacqueline Ho. During that encounter, I made several unwelcome comments about cross‐cultural relationships. The comments were unacceptable. I am deeply sorry for what I said.

What happened that evening was out of character for me. I have been struggling with a personal matter which has caused me much grief and pain. Nevertheless, my personal problems are no excuse for my actions. I have apologised to Mr Parkash, Ms Ho, and their families. I now wish to apologise to those in the wider Singaporean community whom I have hurt and offended with my words.

The incident has prompted me to dig deep and reflect on my own behaviour and motivations. I realise now that although I spoke from a place of deep personal pain, my words were bigoted, discriminatory, and insensitive. I recognise my shortcomings and wish to learn from this incident. With the support of my family, friends, and I hope the wider community, I will work on my flaws to ensure that I do not make this mistake again.

Non-subtle approach

Tan's public show of contrition was not subtle.

His Facebook display picture shows two hands -- one white and one black -- shaking.

His cover photo reads: "I'm sorry."

He also put up one photo of him and Parkash, the man he engaged in Orchard area after accosting him and his partner and making his views known that people of different ethnicities cannot be together as a couple.

The Facebook profile also listed Tan's designation as "Former Senior Lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic".

The polytechnic previously said it was in the process of firing Tan, which appears to have come to pass.

Hired prominent criminal defence lawyer Eugene Thuraisingam

Tan's apology was sent to the media via Eugene Thuraisingam's law firm about nine hours after it appeared on social media.

A lawyer from Eugene Thuraisingam LLP said he was acting on behalf of his client, Tan.