S’porean woman, 57, who made racist remarks on MRT train charged in court

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A 57-year-old woman, Tan Beow Hiong, who was caught on video purportedly making racist comments on an MRT train appeared in court (according to ST) and was charged on Friday, June 18.

Be Screenshot image from Al-kisah/FB.

Public nuisance and disrupting racial harmony

According to court documents seen by Mothership, Tan faced one charge for public nuisance and two charges for conscious acts of prejudice against the maintenance of harmony between different racial groups, that likely disturbed public tranquility.

On April 21, 2021, Tan was filmed making comments about race while on a MRT train.

Shortly after, the video circulated widely on social media.

While the original video has been deleted, another video has been re-uploaded onto Facebook.

In the video, Tan can purportedly be heard repeatedly asking commuters about their race, and said, “Malay, is it? Okay, no wonder.”

She also spoke at length about her academic credentials (“I was from Hwa Chong, I’m not that stupid”) and her family connections.

An offscreen voice can be heard saying, “Racist.”

Tan also said, “I would never mix around with you guys because we are so different”.

Youtube channel

Following the incident, netizens shared links to a YouTube channel named after Tan, which comprised 29 videos.

The videos all appear to depict the same woman passing unsavoury comments about strangers in public. In her videos, people of Malay or Indian ethnicity were often followed around, with some filmed from a distance.

The most-watched and unsubstantiated video, “Malay Man Attempted To Molest Chinese Woman”, had over 75,000 views.

The YouTube channel was terminated by the platform for violation of harassment and cyberbullying policies.

Screenshot image from Youtube.

If convicted of an offence under Section 298A(b) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224, the offender may be imprisoned for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine, or both.

May 2021 incident

Court documents also mention an incident on May 11, 2021, relating to Tan, again in an MRT train.

Tan allegedly:

Spoke loudly in the carriage of the train, claiming that she was not racist.

Made statements such as “we are very different” and “I don’t even talk to Chinese rank-and-file like you”.

She was charged with committing a public nuisance by doing an act that causes annoyance to the other passengers in the vicinity.

This relates to Section 290(b) of the Penal Code, Chapter 224. If convicted, the offender can be imprisoned for a term which may extend to three months, a fine which may extend to $2,000, or both.

Knight Frank

In addition, Tan’s employment details were discovered and circulated online.

She was listed and registered as a Knight Frank Singapore salesperson.

In response to the incident, the company said it has “zero tolerance for hate speech and racism that threatens the foundations on which Singapore is built” and had terminated Tan from the company.

Read Knight Frank Property Network Pte Ltd’s statement here:

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Top image screenshot from Al-Kisah/FB