Racist Ngee Ann Poly Lecturer Allegedly Displayed Islamophobia In Class

UPDATE (11 Jun, 10am): Ngee Ann Polytechnic has released a statement saying that they’re currently investigating the matter. You may read it in full below.

When it was revealed that a man who had made racist remarks is a lecturer at Ngee Ann Poly (NP), many were in disbelief. An educator, after all, should instil good values in students.

Man In ‘Date Own Race’ Video Is A Ngee Ann Poly Teaching Staff & Has Been Suspended

But now, evidence has surfaced to prove that his unpleasant conduct wasn’t new.

Sharing her personal encounter with Mr Tan Boon Lee, Instagram user @_new_rule_ or Fatimah shed light on his behaviour in school.

Lecturer allegedly attacks Islam in Ngee Ann Poly class

In an Instagram post yesterday (9 Jun), ex-NP student Fatimah told of how lecturer Mr Tan Boon Lee made unsolicited religious remarks in class.

A particular incident in 2017 left an indelible impression. So much so that she “ended up sitting outside on the floor of the corridor” with a friend, waiting for Mr Tan’s class to end.

According to Fatimah, Mr Tan had started “a full-on discourse about Islam which escalated badly”. She quoted some of the statements he made in an Instagram story back then.

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Fatimah claimed that Mr Tan “opened websites on the projector, pointing out things he didn’t agree with about the Quran and Prophet Muhammad s.a.w to the class.”

As the only Muslim there, she felt understandably uncomfortable.

Arrows sole Muslim student

But the discomfort apparently didn’t end there. Fatimah, who was sitting in the front row, unfortunately, became the target of Mr Tan’s attention.

She described how he pointed to her and asked if she agreed with what he was saying.

Unwilling to engage in a debate, Fatimah left and sat outside the classroom. She recorded her thoughts as she reeled from the experience, upset by Mr Tan’s rude gesture.

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She later reportedly filed a complaint to the school, though nothing transpired from it.

MS News has reached out to Fatimah and will update the article accordingly.

In a Facebook post on Thursday (10 Jun), NP stated their awareness of the issue and assured the public that they’re investigating the matter.

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Should they deem it appropriate, the school “will not hesitate to take disciplinary action, including dismissal”.

They also urge current and former students who’ve had similar experiences to contact the school via email.

Call for graver consequences & actions from the school

In light of this revelation, Fatimah called for heavier consequences for Mr Tan Boon Lee. She made an impassioned statement which read:

Everyone in class were still young and impressionable. He is a senior lecturer. I can only imagine how many more times he had been racist and Islamophobic in the institution of education over the years. After his suspension is over, he might return to the classrooms.

He should not be allowed back.

I repeat.

A racist Islamophobe has no place educating our youths.

Many in the post’s comments concurred, calling for NP to take more serious action against the currently suspended lecturer.

Whether the school will follow up with these suggestions remains to be seen.

Not enough to be neutral & anti-racist

While Singapore is generally a peaceful country, recent, racially insensitive incidents like this prove that we still have a long way to go towards becoming truly harmonious.

Like what Fatimah said in concluding her post, being anti-racist or neutral isn’t enough. We need to step up and call out discriminatory behaviour to stop them from prevailing within our society.

Hopefully, with greater awareness and accountability, we can all learn more about each other’s diverse backgrounds and respect everyone equally.

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Featured image adapted from Facebook and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.