Former lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) Tan Boon Lee has made a public apology on his newly-created Facebook account on Friday (9 July) for making racist remarks towards an interracial couple on 5 June.
Mr Tan came under the public spotlight after he was identified as the man making racist remarks to an interracial couple in a video uploaded by Dave Parkash, the Indian-Filipino man who was accused by Mr Tan of “preying” on Chinese girls while on a night out with his girlfriend.
In the video posted on 6 June, Mr Tan was seen confronting Mr Parkash and his girlfriend in public, saying that the interracial couple should date people of their own race instead.
This is despite Mr Parkash having clarified that he is half-Indian and half-Filipino, while his girlfriend Jacqueline Ho — who recorded the incident — is half-Chinese and half-Thai.
NP subsequently issued a statement on 17 June that it was in the process of terminating Mr Tan’s employment, following the completion of its internal investigations into the racist and Islamophobic conduct of Mr Tan.
In a Facebook post earlier today, Mr Tan said he has created a Facebook account to convey his 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,” he wrote.
Mr Tan noted that he also apologised to Mr Parkash and Ms Ho, as well as their families, with regards to the matter.
“I now wish to apologise to those in the wider Singaporean community whom I have hurt and offended with my words,” he remarked.
Mr Tan went on to say that the incident has prompted him to “dig deep” and reflect on his 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,” he added.