Shanmugam slams bully who abused teen on MRT
Law minister weighs in on verbally abusive MRT commuter
A minister has slammed the boorish behaviour of a commuter who verbally abused a teenager over his T-shirt.
Law Minister K Shanmugam wrote in a Facebook post yesterday that he hopes action will be taken against the man who was captured in a video that went viral on social media.
The video, posted last Wednesday, shows the man insulting and threatening a teenager on an MRT train for wearing a shirt with an offensive word on it. He was heard telling the teenager that he could beat him up and would throw him off the train.
A passenger by the name of Elfy eventually stepped in, confronted the man and told him to stop his aggressive behaviour.
Both of them got out of the train at Ang Mo Kio station, as instructed by the police.
The video has since received more than 20,000 shares, with many condemning the actions of the man.
Elfy, whose real name is Muhammad Hanafie, 25, said he stepped in as he saw the man approaching the teenager.
"The man was saying how he was going to throw the teen out and started moving towards him," Mr Hanafie told The New Paper yesterday.
"I was afraid that he would get physical and cause more trouble, and feared for the safety of the teen."
The incident happened on July 7 at about 10pm on the North-South Line, between Toa Payoh and Ang Mo Kio stations, he said.
Mr Hanafie, who is currently unemployed, added that he was upset that no one else stepped in, and also with how the police handled the matter.
"I was frustrated enough that this man was bullying a boy and talking down to him," he said.
"But when the police stepped in, they didn't do anything. They didn't even take down our particulars."
Mr Hanafie said the police then got him and the man to take the train that came later.
When contacted yesterday, the police declined comment.
In his post, the Law Minister called it "unacceptable bullying conduct" and said that "people like this are sick in their mind and try to take it out on others".
"I hope his employer will take some action against him - he brings his organisation into disrepute."
Mr Shanmugam, praising the commuter who confronted the bully, said: "Good to see someone, in this case Elfy, standing up to this bully. His comments on the incident, that we are a multiracial society that should respect each other, are wise."
Others have also praised Mr Hanafie for standing up for the teenager.
Facebook user Christebel Choe said: "So proud of the Malay boy, he has guts and good representation of true Singaporean. We stand up for our fellow man. All thumbs up." (sic)
Another user, Irene Cheng, said: "Our Singaporean hero, well done. Every Singaporean should be like him. Stand up for our fellow man when we are in trouble."
Many users also commented on the Minister's post, asking if the police would be taking any action.
Mr Hanafie said action should be taken against the bully and everyone should stand up against bullies.
"He should be fired. What he did was unacceptable," he said.
"I hope that the people around will stand up against the bully if such a thing happens again. We should always stand up for our fellow man."