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The Ngee Ann Polytechnic lecturer, who was charged for making racist remarks to an interracial couple in 2021, was charged once more after the police found obscene videos in his phone.
Tan Boon Lee, a former senior lecturer at the polytechnic's School of Engineering, has pleaded guilty to both charges.
Pleaded guilty to two out of four charges
According to court documents seen by Mothership, Tan faced four charges.
- Committing an act which Tan knew is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups and which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity at Ngee Ann Polytechnic on Jul. 28, 2017;
- Committing an act which Tan knew is prejudicial to the maintenance of harmony between different religious groups and which is likely to disturb the public tranquillity on online forum Quora.com between Aug. 10, 2020 and Sep. 13, 2020;
- Wounding the racial feelings of Dave Parkash by uttering racist remarks with deliberate intention on Jun. 5, 2021; and
- Possessing 64 obscene films, which showed women engaged in sexual acts, in his phone on Jun. 12, 2021.
The obscene videos were for Tan's personal enjoyment, and he either downloaded them from online sources or received them from his friends.
The Straits Times (ST) reported that Tan pleaded guilty to the last two charges -- wounding the feelings of a person by uttering racist remarks and possessing obscene films -- on Nov. 17.
The two other charges were taken into consideration.
Sentenced on Dec. 29, 2022
The Deputy Public Prosecutor sought four weeks' jail for Tan, saying that Tan had made "vile and sustained" racist remarks that were not only directed at the interracial couple, but also the entire Indian race.
On the other hand, the defence lawyer sought a community-based sentence for Tan, saying that his client has drawn flak from the public and also lost his job since the incident.
The defence lawyer said Tan's daughter, who is now 25, previously had a relationship with a man of another race.
Tan objected to the relationship and that was what was weighing on his mind when he encountered the couple, ST reported the defence lawyer saying.
He added that Tan "is someone who has contributed to society", noting that his client has gone for therapy to try and become a better person.
Tan will be sentenced on Dec. 29, 2022.
Those who deliberately wound the religious or racial feelings of a person may be jailed for up to three years, or fined, or both.
Those who possess obscene films may be fined up to S$40,000, or jailed for up to a year, or both.
What happened back then
Tan confronted Dave Parkash and his girlfriend Jacqueline Ho in the vicinity of Angullia Park in Orchard Road on Jun. 5, 2021.
Parkash is half-Indian and half-Filipino, while Ho is half-Chinese and half-Thai.
Ho filmed their encounter with Tan.
Parkash then uploaded the video to Facebook.
Tan can be heard in the video saying it was "such a disgrace (that) an Indian man is with a Chinese girl" and "if you are proud of your own race, you marry somebody Indian", adding that it is racist that "Indians marries (sic) a Chinese girl".
He also accused Parkash of preying on a Chinese girl, saying, "I know you’re preying on a Chinese girl and the Chinese are not happy with it," and "The only thing is, when you’re preying on Chinese girl, I tell you, the Chinese don’t like it.", amongst other things.
After the video of their interaction went viral, Tan was fired from Ngee Ann Polytechnic in June 2021, and was charged on May 2022.
Top image screenshot from video from Dave Parkash/Facebook
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