Ex-Ngee Ann Poly lecturer Tan Boon Lee to be charged over racist remarks, possessing obscene films

He will also be charged for making insensitive comments about religion.

Belmont Lay | May 17, 2022, 03:09 AM

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A 61-year-old man in Singapore will be charged for allegedly making racist remarks and insensitive comments about religion multiple times, as well as for possessing obscene films.

The Straits Times identified the man as Tan Boon Lee, the former senior lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s School of Engineering, who was previously caught on camera accosting an interracial couple in Orchard on June 5, 2021.

Tan will be charged on Tuesday, May 17.

Police statement

News of Tan's impending court appearance was released in a police statement on Monday night, ST reported.

The police statement did not identify Tan, but ST said it understood it was him and he faces four charges in total.

During the confrontation with the couple in Orchard, Tan was caught on camera allegedly making remarks about the couple's race.

The police said he allegedly passed racist remarks to a 26-year-old man in the vicinity of Angullia Park on June 5 last year.

Tan also allegedly made insensitive remarks about religion during a lecture at Ngee Ann Polytechnic on July 28, 2017.

He is also accused of providing insensitive answers about religion in response to questions on an online forum between Aug. 10 and Sep. 13 in 2020.

The police said they take a serious view of acts that have the potential to harm racial harmony in Singapore.

They said: "Any person who makes remarks or acts in a manner which causes ill will and hostility between the different races or religious groups in Singapore will be dealt with swiftly and in accordance with the law."


A person can be jailed up to three years, fined, or both if convicted of uttering words with the deliberate intention of wounding the racial feelings of a person.

A person can be jailed up to three years, a fined, or both if convicted of committing an act prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups.

A person can be jailed for up to 12 months, fined up to S$40,000, or both, if convicted of possessing obscene films.