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Officers impartial in their checks, say police, after allegations of racism following incident at Bishan MRT Station

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force said on Wednesday (July 10) that it takes a stern view of “persons who post remarks online that could cause ill-will and hostility between the different races or communities”, after a video emerged online showing a man visibly frustrated at being stopped by police officers.

Officers impartial in their checks, say police, after allegations of racism following incident at Bishan MRT Station

In the video which was uploaded onto Facebook group Complaint Singapore on Tuesday, a Malay man was seen talking aggressively to officers from the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) unit, after he was approached for checks at Bishan MRT station.

SINGAPORE — The Singapore Police Force said on Wednesday (July 10) that it takes a stern view of “persons who post remarks online that could cause ill-will and hostility between the different races or communities”, after a video emerged online showing a man visibly frustrated at being stopped by police officers.

In the video which was uploaded onto Facebook group Complaint Singapore on Tuesday, a Malay man was seen talking aggressively to officers from the Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) unit, after he was approached for checks at Bishan MRT Station.

The man said that he had seen officers approach many Malays for checks, but not those from the other races.

The man was heard asking the officers why they wanted to screen him even though he was wearing his work uniform.

Officers from the TransCom unit were seen calmly talking to the man.

The video was posted to other forums such as Reddit, where users began to recount their experience in being screened by the police, with some saying they believe that they were picked because of their race.

In response to the allegations, the police said on Wednesday that they are aware of the video circulating online and the comments made by netizens “stating that such checks were targeted at Malays”.

“Such allegations are untrue, baseless, irresponsible, and may stir up racial tensions,” said the police, adding that those who post such remarks online “will be dealt with in accordance with the law”.

The police said that the incident had happened on March 5 this year, and that the majority of people checked by the same team on that same shift were non-Malays.

The authority said that officers from the TransCom unit conduct patrols and random checks on people at public transport nodes to prevent, deter and detect crime and potential security incidents.

“Such checks are necessary to ensure that our public transport system remains crime free, and to deter would-be-criminals from committing criminal offences and terrorist acts,” said the police.

Last year, officers from the TransCom unit made more than 720 arrests as a result of spot checks conducted on Singapore's transport network.

The majority of those arrested were for serious offences such as possession of dangerous weapons and drugs, as well as having a warrant of arrest issued against them.

The police assured the public that their officers are “impartial in their checks, and are trained to carry them out professionally”.

“We hope that the public can understand and appreciate the need for such checks, which ensure the safety and security of commuters, and will cooperate with the officers as they carry out their responsibility,” said the police.

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