Man, 30, charged for racist attack on S'porean woman in Choa Chu Kang

The alleged attack has been condemned by leaders in Singapore.

Lean Jinghui | September 21, 2021, 02:53 PM

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The man accused of kicking and using a racist slur on a Singaporean woman of Indian ethnicity in May 2021, was charged in court on Sep. 10, 2021.

According to charge sheets seen by Mothership, Wong Xing Fong, 30, was charged with one count each of voluntarily causing hurt to the victim, Hindocha Nita Vishnubhai, by committing a racially aggravated attack, and of deliberately wounding racial feelings.

What happened

Wong is accused of kicking Nita, 55, in the chest area using his right leg on May 7, 2021.

He is also accused of uttering vulgarities to hurl racially-charged insults at Nita, according to the charge sheet.

The incident happened at about 8:45am on May 7, at a sheltered walkway near Northvale Condominium along Choa Chu Kang Drive.

According to past reports, Nita had been brisk walking along the walkway when she was stopped by Wong.

At that time, she had her mask lowered to her chin, as she had worked up a sweat from her walk.

However, Wong shouted at her from behind to pull her mask up.

He then allegedly started verbally abusing her, even after she explained that she had been exercising.

To avoid a confrontation, Nita tried to walk away, but Wong then allegedly ran towards her and kicked her in the chest.

The kick toppled Nita, causing her to suffer abrasions and cuts to her left arm.

Speaking to Mothership, Nita said then:

"[...] I was in deep shock; I was in disbelief. I knew that people disliked Indians, but to this extent it was beyond my belief. I did not know what to do.

I didn't [even] want to tell my daughter of the attack, because everything is so sensitive you know? Anger I don't have, but I still have a lot of fear. I am very scared still, daily."

Condemnation by several ministers

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and several other ministers subsequently condemned the racist attack then, in the strongest possible terms.

In a Facebook post, PM Lee shared that he was "very disappointed and seriously concerned" the racist attack had happened in Singapore.

He added: "It goes against everything that our multiracial society stands for, and the mutual respect and racial harmony that we hold so dear".

Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment said in her post then that violence "should never be a response", and urged Singaporeans to stay united during these difficult times.

She said:

"Racism is unacceptable. So is xenophobia. This is not us. Let us keep in mind Singapore’s core value of unity as a society."

In another post, Minister for Law and Home Affairs K Shanmugam too echoed that the incident was simply "unacceptable", and condemned the alleged attack.

A relief

Speaking to Mothership, Nita shared that she felt relieved now that Wong has been charged, and his name revealed.

She elaborated: "I felt like it was a lot of pressure when my name was public and his name, nobody knew. Some commented that mine was a one-sided story. I felt very low. But when [my daughter] sent me the news [of the charges], I felt better. Hopefully justice will prevail."

According to The Straits Times, Wong's pre-trial conference will be held on Oct. 8, 2021.

If convicted of voluntarily causing hurt to another person in a racially aggravated attack, Wong can be jailed for up to four-and-a-half years, fined up to S$7,500, or both.

If convicted of deliberately wounding another's racial feelings, he can be jailed for up to three years, fined, or both.

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Top image via Parveen Kaur/Instagram and via Syahindah Ishak