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‘Not for India…go away’; couple denied free Ramzan treats in Singapore

A supermarket chain in Singapore has apologised after an Indian Muslim couple was turned away from one of its booths offering free refreshments to those breaking fast during Ramzan.

Farah Nadya and her husband Jahabar Shalih had gone to the FairPrice outlet at Our Tampines Hub on April 9 at around 7 p.m. for grocery shopping when an employee allegedly told them that the freebies were “not for India (sic)”, The Straits Times reported.

Nadya, 35, is a Malaysian-Indian and runs her own healthcare company, while her 36-year-old husband is an Indian who works in the technology sector.

Shalih told The Straits Times that he was standing at the booth reading about free refreshments when a FairPrice employee approached him and said: “Not for India, not for India. Further, the employee told the couple not to take anything from the stand, and ‘go away’.”

Sharing her ordeal in a Facebook post, Nadya said that they did not intend to take the free items, and had stopped by the stand “to applaud such an inclusive initiative”.

The couple said they shared the experience on social media to “be accountable” to their children, who are of mixed-race.

“I have encountered such things before, but this time I had to explain to my son what had happened,” Shalih told The Straits Times.

“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.”

Apologising for the incident, a FairPrice spokesman said “we take this matter seriously”, adding that the employee in question has been “counselled”.

The initiative by FairPrice Group, launched at the end of March and running till April 21, sees 60 FairPrice outlets giving away free drinks, snacks and dates to those breaking fast during Ramzan.

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