NUS professor acknowledges ‘poor judgment’ in posts on sexuality

SINGAPORE — The National University of Singapore professor at the centre of an online controversy has acknowledged that his recent Facebook posts discussing his views on homosexuality caused offence, said NUS provost Tan Eng Chye.

In a circular sent out this morning (Mar 5), Prof Tan said that Associate Professor Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied’s comments on his views of lesbianism “contained provocative, inappropriate and offensive language”.

“I have counselled Associate Professor Khairudin, who has acknowledged that whilst his only intention had been to convey his point of view, his original posts reflected poor judgment in the tone and choice of words. He has since amended or removed these posts,” said Prof Tan.

Two alumni and a current student had earlier lodged a complaint to NUS over Professor Khairudin’s Facebook posts, claiming that Professor Khairudin had described “alternative modes of sexual orientation” as “wayward”, and as “cancers” and “social diseases” to be “cleansed”.

The circular emphasised NUS’ commitment to diversity, regardless of “gender, ethnicity, religion, nationality, political beliefs or sexual orientation”, and highlighted the need to respect this diversity when communicating with others.

Both staff and students were reminded to “show restraint, due care and respect with their words and actions, particularly when communicating online.”

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