SINGAPORE: Allegations that Public Transport Security Command (TransCom) officers had conducted checks on two madrasah students because they had a quota to hit are “untrue and irresponsible”, police said on Tuesday (Jul 16).

The police’s comments come in response to a photo circulating online that shows a pair of students from Madrasah Al-Ma’arif talking to TransCom officers. 

The officers in the photo were engaging the students on the new Riders on Watch (ROW) initiative, police said in a Facebook post.

“Such comments that seek to stir up racial sentiments are uncalled for and unhelpful,” it added.

The ROW scheme  – launched on Jul 2 – aims to tap upon Singapore’s large pool of commuters to be first responders to potential threats on public transport.

“The two students have signed up as ROW volunteers, and they now join other ROW volunteers to help keep Singapore’s public transport networks safe and secure,” the police said.

Madrasah Al-Ma’arif praised the pair in the picture, saying: “We are proud of our students’ sense of civic-mindedness and responsibility towards their community.”

The school also appealed to the public to prevent “further speculation or irresponsible circulation” of the photo.