The assault of a woman walking in Choa Chu Kang is being investigated for a possible racial motive, the police said today.
The police told Coconuts that they were investigating the Friday morning incident, which was brought to light over the weekend by the woman’s daughter. She said her mother, 55-year-old Hindocha Nita Vishnubhai, was on a brisk walk from the Choa Chu Kang MRT station to the nearby stadium where she works when an unidentified man confronted her for not wearing her mask properly, hurled insults and racial slurs, and then kicked her to the ground.
“To anyone who says racism doesn’t exist in Singapore, and we should be thankful we aren’t in countries where minorities are in physical danger, read this,” the daughter, identified only as @Parrvyy on Instagram, wrote in a post that was circulating since yesterday before being removed.
Police did not give further details about the incident. The daughter has not responded to online queries for comment. Singaporeans are required to don face masks in public as part of coronavirus safety measures except for those engaging in strenuous exercises.
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In the now-removed post, @Parrvyy alleged that the man “didn’t care” when her mother told him that she was not required to wear a face mask since she was exercising. The man reacted by kicking her chest, causing her to fall on her back, the post added. Photos showed abrasions on the woman’s left elbow and hand.
“Now my mum is afraid of taking a walk in her own country. I can’t comprehend the hatred it would’ve taken to attack a complete stranger. Fuck anyone who downplays racism here,” the post added. Her mother, who was “too shocked” over what had happened, eventually reported the matter to the police that night, she said.
According to Sport Singapore, those engaging in strenuous exercises such as brisk walking on “hilly terrain” can remove their face masks, however, they are required to put them back on after completing the exercise. Violators face S$300 fines, not vigilante corporal punishment.
While Singapore has no codified hate speech law, promoting racial discord is proscribed by the Sedition Act.
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