“This episode is another stark reminder why we need to be careful and why we need to strongly reject hate speech, incendiary speech, speech which incites or aggravates, or causes insult or division within societies,” Balakrishnan was quoted as saying by the media in Singapore. He described the derogatory comments as “a delicate subject”.
Indonesian foreign ministry tweeted underlining the importance of tolerance in today’s multicultural society.
The 10-member Asean comprises countries like Indonesia, the largest Muslim majority country in the world, and Malaysia who had condemned the remarks by BJP spokespersons. Both had summoned Indian envoys to lodge a protest over the remarks.
Balakrishnan met BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday where a wide range of issues were discussed. The visiting minister mentioned Singapore’s strict laws against hate speech and said the country was “on the right track”.
“And so long as we remember that and treat each other with respect, we can live and let live,” Balakrishnan said.