A man captured his encounter with a racist – and possibly unwell – woman he bumped into on the train yesterday.
Ryan Kalmani, 26, was finding an empty seat on a train he boarded at the Jurong East MRT station at around 4pm when, out of nowhere, a middle-aged Chinese woman began asking him and other strangers in the cabin what their race was before proceeding to belittle them in a monologue fronting her supposed elite status.
“Malay is it? OK, no wonder,” she said. “I will never mix around with you guys because we’re so different.”
The two-minute video posted to Kalmani’s Twitter account starts with the woman bragging about studying at the elite Hwa Chong Institution while holding up her phone to record.
“[T]his lady suddenly just started asking the people around me ‘what’s your race?’. She then whipped up her phone and started recording us, counting the number of Malays in that train carriage saying it is for the police and that we are harassing her. That’s when I started recording,” the athletics coach told Coconuts today.
The woman says a number of things that don’t make sense, prompting some concern for her mental health. For example, she said bizarrely that she is recording them as evidence to press the authorities on why she needs to “hang” and “mix” with Kalmani and the others.
I fasting, tired and saw an empty seat. Next thing I know, got a lady accusing us Malays of harassing her?? 🤯🤔 pic.twitter.com/FH1QoKKE9j
— Ryan Kalmani (@mysweetserenade) April 21, 2021
Kalmani said she just randomly “lumped” the six of them together based on their skin color and assumed they were all Malay, while a man sitting next to him was in fact Filipino.
“It’s not coincidental, I was from Hwa Chong, I’m not that stupid,” she said, referring to her being confined in the same area as them.
Kalmani said after he stopped recording, she told them to “enjoy” themselves and walked away to a different cabin when the train left Dover station.
So where did all of this come from?
“I haven’t got the faintest clue. I didn’t know what happened before that but no one did anything. From afar when I spotted the empty seats, everyone was just minding their business so I went to that area. From my point of view, nobody did anything to provoke her,” Kalmani said.
Kalmani managed to keep his cool throughout the about 15-minute ordeal for the sake of Ramadan, which encourages good behavior and began last week.
“It was challenging to hold my anger but I’m fasting so gotta control myself,” he said.
Apparently, this was not the first time the woman has antagonized people. Several others described similar encounters on social media targeting an Indian man and an elderly worker.
“Lol it’s the same lady I saw on the train, belittling an Indian gentleman. Claiming she is from Hwa Chong and that people are stalking her,” @vindicatedink tweeted.
Others urged compassion despite her ugly behavior.
“Looks like she has some mental health issues. Let’s not make this a race thing if it is not. Folk[s] like these do need help,” @upyrs wrote.
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