Former Ngee Ann Poly lecturer charged over racist and Islamophobic remarks

Screengrabs from the video showing the confrontation at Orchard road. Photo: Dave Park Ash/Facebook
Screengrabs from the video showing the confrontation at Orchard road. Photo: Dave Park Ash/Facebook

A former lecturer who stopped an interracial couple to insult them in the street last year has been charged.

Tan Boon Lee, 61, today was handed one count of making racist remarks and two for making insensitive religious comments after he rose to internet fame for criticizing a mixed Indian and Filipino man a year ago for going out with his Chinese-Thai girlfriend.

Tan also faces one count of possessing 64 obscene films on his phone.

In the viral video, poster Dave Parkash said that Tan confronted them along Orchard Road and told him that it was racist for an Indian man to “prey” on Chinese girls, and that they should only date within their race. 

Shortly after the incident blew up, a student accused Tan, a former Ngee Ann Poly lecturer, of spreading Islamophobia in class by questioning Islamic beliefs and criticizing the religion’s values. 

The court also revealed that he authored insensitive responses about Christianity on cloud knowledge site Quora in 2020. 

Tan was subsequently suspended and sacked.

He was offered release on a S$5,000 bond and is expected to return to court June 24.

If found guilty of deliberately wounding the racial feelings of a person and disrupting the harmony between different religious groups, he could face up to three years in jail and fines. 

If found guilty of possessing obscene films, he could face up to a year in jail and a S$40,000 fine.

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