Coronavirus or COVID 19 has brought to light the racism in multicultural Singapore.
A page named Tiagong posted a video titled “should send them back to India if they choose not to follow our measures” on April 16th detailing an ordeal faced by an Indian couple out for a run who were being chased by a man rebuking them for not wearing a face mask.
While the Indian woman in the video did not respond to being chased around and rebuked, the man did and exclaimed that he was being tortured.
To which the trailing man says ‘“I would like to see you run. The government say already the moment you stop you have to wear. I am not torturing you. I have been following you from the park until here you have been walking, you have not been running, so please put on your masks! Be socially responsible!”
The video has several comments abusing the couple.
A user who claimed to be the couple’s friend, however, commented that the couple is in the healthcare profession and working through these difficult times. He also added that it was very saddening to see the way they are treated by a vigilante and said that during brisk walking no one needed to wear a mask according to government advisory. ‘Should have just forwarded the video to the authorities if the real intentions are to be a responsible citizen. And let the authorities decide whether they should be punished or not’ he said.
Another user pointed out the hypocrisy of the man trailing this couple and said ‘why you running behind them and film it? Where is your social distance?’
While one more person pointed out that this was just stalking:
‘He’s literally just stalking people and not abiding the COVID laws himself.’
Many others also made sympathetic comments to the couple.
Singapore has made it illegal to go outside once vicinity without a mask but it also says that ‘individuals may remove their mask while engaging in strenuous exercise outdoors (e.g. running/ jogging), but they must put it back on after completing the exercise.’
There were other interesting comments as well:
1.) SICK of people like you, going around screaming at strangers. If you like to “catch” people so much. Get a license. Be a police. Be a law enforcement officer.
Like they say, everything in Singapore need a license.
Catching people on Singapore also need a license.
If not otherwise, stay at home “kiao ka”.
You going out, is considered one useless human being loitering already.
YOU ONLY GOT ONE JOB. BE YOUR PART STAY AT HOME.
2.) Oh dear… even if he (the person who recorded it who is not even an enforcement officer in the first place because if he was with this conduct, he would have faced disciplinary proceedings as a public officer) thinks that the Indian man is in the wrong, he should have just forwarded the video to the SPF (like what he claimed in the video) directly. But since he has resorted to uploading it in social media which is a public sphere without the permission of the person being recorded, the Indian couple can also make a police report against the video recorder and file a civil case against him under the grounds of PDPA Act and then the video recorder person will also be in trouble. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
3.) Maybe you should start doing that to panic buyers or people who are actually loitering before harassing joggers who generally want to be separate from people?
But this was not the sole video showing random strangers picking up on Indians. There was another video posted by a user named Kavitha Haridas that showed a middle-aged Indian man going back to his home without a mask, rudely told by a stranger to put on mask as he tried to search for it.
Commenting on that video she said that ‘Pretending to be a Good Samaritan; going around asking people to wear their mask. No this isn’t an act of goodwill at all.”
This video of harassment of the Indian man has since been removed.