Teenage suspect arrested for Instagram hate speech

File photo of an individual being handcuffed.
File photo of an individual being handcuffed.

A 19-year-old Singaporean Chinese man was arrested Monday for allegedly posting hate speech on social media, police told reporters last night, on the same day Temasek Polytechnic said it was investigating a student. 

Police said that multiple complaints were lodged since Sunday against the owner of an Instagram account where several “insensitive” comments, including those that “could wound religious feelings,” were posted. A laptop, computer, and mobile phone were seized and an investigation is underway.

The police did not identify the suspect by name. Temasek Polytechnic confirmed with Coconuts Singapore that its student was the subject of a police investigation. 

“Temasek Polytechnic does not condone any action or behaviour that incites hatred and violence. We expect all members of the TP community to uphold themselves to the highest standards, and will not hesitate to mete out the necessary disciplinary action against any student and staff who breaches our Code of Conduct,” the institution said. 

“As the case is under police investigation, we will not be able to comment further.”

Temasek Polytechnic investigates student over Instagram hate speech

The tertiary institution issued a statement in the wee hours of Monday saying that it was aware of social media posts many had reported for hateful rhetoric by one of its Interior Architecture and Design students.  

Among the posts made by @wel.sun.s and other accounts with variations on that username was one that detailed his “dream” about killing Muslims in an office building and another that slut-shamed an alleged rape victim. 

A person convicted of creating or disseminating any document inciting violence can be imprisoned for up to five years, fined, or both. Posting comments with deliberate intent to wound religious or racial feelings carries a jail term of up to three years, a fine, or both.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with Temasek Polytechnic’s statement

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