Singapore, February 8
A 52-year-old Indian-origin man was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on Monday for attempting to promote racial enmity in Singapore by claiming that the ruling People’s Action Party wanted to “marginalise” Malays in the country, according to a media report.
Sirajudeen Abdul Majeed pleaded guilty to one charge each of deliberately intending to wound racial feelings and promoting enmity between groups on grounds of race, according to The Straits Times.
Another two similar charges for promoting enmity were considered during his sentencing, it said.
On June 12 and 13 last year, the Singaporean of Indian ethnicity sent messages to three acquaintances claiming that the ruling party “wants to make the Malay community a sub-minority”, and that other races were introduced to the country to “just dilute the original race of Malay”.
He also told them to share the messages.
One of the acquaintances later informed the police about it.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said Sirajudeen intended to stoke fears that the People’s Action Party was seeking to marginalise the Malays in the country by allowing more immigrants into the country.
“These messages would promote ill will between different racial groups, a fact that the accused must have objectively known when he sent the said messages,” he added.
Sirajudeen was also slapped a fine of 7,000 Singapore dollars (USD 5,240).
On August 5 last year, Sirajudeen called the police on ‘999’ (hotline) twice and made racially insensitive comments targeting Malays, Singapore’s second-largest ethnic community.
Malays account for 15 per cent of the country’s population.
Sirajudeen also made remarks about police officers being incompetent because of their Malay ethnicity.
On Monday, District Judge Salina Ishak said Sirajudeen noted that the racially insensitive remarks were made during the election period and that they could have led to significant uproar.
Singapore’s general elections were held in July last year.
Sirajudeen is currently out on 5,000 Singapore dollars (USD 3,743) bail. He is expected to surrender himself on February 22 to begin serving his sentence.
For attempting to promote enmity between racial groups, he could have been jailed for up to three years and fined. PTI