The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has debunked allegations that its officers target Malay commuters during security checks at MRT stations, in a statement published on Wednesday (10 July).
Such allegations arose online after a video showing officers conducting checks on a man at Bishan MRT station circulated online. In the video, a man can be seen shouting and gesturing at a group of officers.
Calling the claims that checks are targeted at Malays “baseless and untrue,” the SPF said: “There have been several comments made by netizens, stating that such checks were targeted at Malays. Such allegations are untrue, baseless, irresponsible, and may stir up racial tensions.
“The police take a stern view of persons who post remarks online that could cause ill-will and hostility between the different races or communities in Singapore, and they will be dealt with in accordance with the law.”
Revealing that the incident shown in the video occurred on 5 March 2019, the police said that the officers involved were tasked to patrol and conduct random checks at public transport nodes.
Asserting that “the majority of persons checked by the same team on that same shift were non-Malays,” the SPF said that these measures are crucial in its efforts to deter acts of terror and ensure the public transport system remains crime free.
Last year, SPF officers made over 720 arrests at these public transport nodes. The majority of the arrests were for serious offences, such as the possession of dangerous weapons and drugs, as well as having a warrant of arrest issued against them.
The SPF said: “The police would like to assure the public that our 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 ensures the safety and security of commuters, and will cooperate with the officers as they carry out their responsibility.”