Tay Kheng Soon, a veteran architect and adjunct professor at the National University of Singapore, was questioned by the police on Aug. 28.
The issue was regarding a Facebook post he had put up more than a month ago on July 15 about Armenian Genocide memorial
Posted on Facebook about questioning
Tay revealed in a Facebook post that he was questioned by the police after a report was made against him following a discussion he had with another person over the social media platform.
The 77-year-old adjunct professor at the National University of Singapore Department of Architecture revealed he had posted a picture of the Genocide Memorial in Armenia, which he visited recently, and wrote that he saw and learnt of the 1.5 million Armenian Christians exterminated by the Ottoman Turks in 1911.
This resulted in a person named Azhari Ali objecting to his characterisation of the event, claiming Tay had “unfairly singled out Islam”, even though that was not the intention of the post.
Robust dialogue in Singapore
Tay then urged the authorities to “establish guidelines to ascertain what should be appropriate responses to complaints made by the public as to their import”, as he felt it was an inconvenience to many people when someone like him is being called up for questioning because of a social media posting being reported to the police.
He added that “if a complaint is substantive, meaning that the issue complained about is of such importance which might lead to violence and major social unrest”, then action is called for, but not otherwise.
Tay, who is behind several iconic structures in Singapore, including the People’s Park Complex and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, also said he hoped that “modern Singapore has matured enough to accept robust, sincere and polite discourse”.
However, Tay also said the police conducting the investigation treated him “very professionally and courteously, which made the encounter with the law rather pleasant”, to his relief.
Tay then posted a second Facebook post suggesting to make it mandatory for the person making the police report to explain the point of contention: