Aussie S'pore Day racist?

Aussie S'pore Day racist?

Last weekend's Singapore Day carnival in Sydney has set off an online storm after an Australian, who claimed he had been turned away from the event, made accusations of racism.

The man, who identified himself only as James, wrote an e-mail to a Sydney radio station saying he and his father were denied entry because they were not Singaporeans.

He claimed that advertising for the event had not made it clear that it was for Singaporeans only and said he was "stunned and angry" that this had happened "in a public space in the middle of Sydney".

The event was held on Saturday at a park called The Domain, at the city's Royal Botanic Gardens.

Its website had a frequently asked questions page which said that it is "an exclusive event for Singaporeans and their families".

James alleged that he had seen people who looked Asian being let in without checks and said he and his father had been "discriminated against because we were Caucasian".

Australian newspaper The Telegraph also reported that callers said "white people were turned away in droves".

But those who attended said they had to register online for the free event and their identities were checked at the venue.

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Overseas Singaporean Unit clarified that those who registered had to get a ticket "for purposes of crowd control and catering".

The spokesman was quoted in The Straits Times (ST) as saying: "Singaporeans could bring along a guest who might be non-Singaporean, and also attend with family members who are non-Singaporeans...

"Singapore Day 2013 was attended by Singaporeans, their family members and friends, of all races."

The Telegraph also reported that the Royal Botanic Gardens acting executive director Brett Summerell would hold a review to see if they would remain involved with the organisers in future.

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