Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday condemned the "offensive" Facebook post of a labour group executive, even as he called it an isolated incident.
"The comments were just wrong and totally unacceptable," he said in a post on his own Facebook page, noting that just last week he had shared a Wall Street Asia article on why people are rude online and how netizens should be careful of what they say.
The National Trades Union Congress on Monday sacked Amy Cheong, an ethnic Chinese assistant director of membership, for her FB post on Sunday wherein she complained in expletive-ridden language about a Malay wedding that was being held at a void deck near her home.
Among other things, she related Malay weddings to high divorce rates, and asked how society could “allow people to get married for 50 bucks”, peppering her post with vulgarities.
In a separate post, she also allegedly wrote, “Void deck weddings should be banned. If you can’t afford a proper wedding then you shouldn’t be getting married. Full stop.”
Lee noted that the person apologised for her mistake but the damage had been done. He said NTUC did the right thing in terminating her services.
"Let us treat this incident for what it is: an isolated case that does not reflect the strength of race relations in Singapore. But it sharply reminds us how easily a few thoughtless words can cause grave offence to many, and undermine our racial and religious harmony," he said.
Law Minister K Shanmugam in a Facebook post on Monday also decried Cheong's comments, saying they "are shameful and completely unacceptable".
He also will not be tolerated.
NTUC Secretary-General Lim Swee Say, who holds the rank of minister in the Prime Minister's office, announced Cheong's sacking on the organisation's Facebook page.
"We will not accept and have zero tolerance towards any words used or actions taken by our staff that are racially offensive," Lim said.
"We are sorry that this has happened," he added.
Minister for Manpower Tan Chuan Jin also weighed in on the issue. In a post on his Facebook page, he said traditional Malay void deck weddings are as much a part of the Singapore landscape as "burning of offerings, void deck funerals... and increased parking during Friday prayers or Sunday morning worship."
He reminded all Singaporeans to "give and take" and to be proud of the diversity and "colourful tapestry" that makes up Singapore.