Update: The Metropolitan Police released images of suspects linked to the attack.
The Singapore High Commission in London today said it was “deeply disturbed” by the violent attack reported by a Singaporean student last week
The commission said it was aware and in touch with 23-year-old Jonathan Mok in a tweet two days after he said he was physically assaulted on Oxford Street by a group making racially charged comments about the coronavirus.
“The Singapore High Commission is aware of the assault case against a Singaporean student, and is in close contact with him. We are also in contact with the Met Police at the highest level to ensure that it follows through with its investigation with the utmost priority,” the commission wrote.
That response along with one from the British High Commissioner to Singapore came after Mok’s post quickly went viral and made news headlines around the world yesterday.
The Singapore High Commission is aware of the assault case against a Singaporean student, and is in close contact with him.
We are also in contact with the Met Police at the highest level to ensure that it follows through with its investigation with the utmost priority.. (1/7)
— SingaporeHCLondon (@SHCLon) March 3, 2020
British High Commissioner Kara Owens last night tweeted that she was “shocked and saddened” by the incident and wishes Mok a speedy recovery.
“No place in society for such nasty behaviour. We are in touch with @SHCLon and the local police are investigating the incident. My thoughts are with Jonathan and I hope for his speedy recovery,” she said.
In a thread consisting of seven tweets, the commissioner denied the assault was representative of the British majority but said “there are unfortunately always abhorrent elements in every society, especially in such uncertain and anxious times.”
Incidents of racism and violence targeting Chinese and Asians over the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak have been reported around the world in recent weeks.
Singaporeans living in the United Kingdom have been advised to avoid “nefarious elements” or “remove oneself from such a situation in the quickest way possible.” They’re also encouraged to go to the police if anything happens and register with Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs so it can contact them.
Nearly 40,000 Singaporeans resided in the United Kingdom according to its most recent census.
Mok has not responded to messages seeking comment from Coconuts Singapore since yesterday.