FairPrice apologises after mixed-race Muslim couple denied free Ramadan treats, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

FairPrice apologises after mixed-race Muslim couple denied free Ramadan treats

This article is more than 12 months old

NTUC FairPrice has apologised for an incident where a Muslim mixed-race couple was turned away from a booth in its supermarket which offered free refreshments for those breaking fast during Ramadan.

In response to queries, an NTUC spokesman said on Monday: “We take this matter seriously and would like to apologise for the incident.”

The spokesman said that the employee, who had allegedly told the couple that the freebies were “not for India“ (sic), has been counselled.

“We have since engaged the couple to address their concerns and have closed this matter amicably,” added the spokesman.

The initiative by FairPrice Group, launched at end-March and running till April 21, sees 60 FairPrice outlets giving away free drinks, snacks and dates for those breaking fast during Ramadan. The refreshments are distributed 30 minutes before and after iftar - or the meal Muslims eat to break fast after the sun has set.

In a Facebook post on Sunday, Ms Farah Nadya said that she and her husband had gone to the NTUC FairPrice outlet at Our Tampines Hub that day at around 7pm for their weekly grocery shopping trip.

Ms Farah, 35, is Malay-Indian and runs her own healthcare company, while her husband Mr Jahabar Shalih, 36, is Indian and works in the technology sector.

The Singaporeans had spotted an Iftar Bites stand at the entrance of the supermarket.

Mr Jahabar told The Straits Times that while he was standing at the booth reading the standee’s message, a FairPrice staff member approached him and said: “Not for India, not for India.”

He was then told by the employee not to take anything from the stand, and to “go away”.

Mr Jahabar and his family then left the booth and continued with their shopping.

In her post, Ms Farah added that they had no intention of taking the free items and they had stopped by the stand “to applaud such an inclusive initiative”.

Mr Jabahar said that he had encountered similar experiences before but added: “I don’t think it’s the fault of the staff... I just feel that such things (can) happen, this is purely a lack of awareness.”