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Sunny Singh, a transport manager in the South Australian town of Port Augusta, who was recently subjected to a vile racial attack by a local truck driver, has been elected as one of the new area councillors of Port Augusta.
In an interview with SBS Punjabi, Mr Singh thanked the Indian community for their love and support.
“I have been here for ten years and as per the information I have gathered, I think I am the first Indian-origin candidate at least in the past 20 years to have been successfully elected as a councillor in Port Augusta," said Mr Singh.
Mr Singh, who won the election with a total of 753 votes - the highest number of votes received by any of the 21 candidates contesting in area, said he was amazed at the result.
“I was totally surprised because the Indian votes in the area are not more than 30 per cent. But I have received a total of 753 votes, which means people outside the community have also voted for me in large numbers,” added Mr Singh.
Last month, the 32-year-old was made the target of a racial tirade by a local truck driver, Grant Moroney, who posted a video on a trucking page on Facebook with a corflute of Mr Singh, introducing him as “Sundrop Zahid Khwaza”, a “457 immigrant” filling in for his regular companion, before jumping headlong into a racist diatribe.
Towards the end of the video, the truck driver smashes the cut-out into the vehicle’s dash repeatedly saying “fit in or f*&# off”, before it is eventually run over by the truck.
Mr Moroney, who later apologised for the slur over a text message after the video went viral, met Mr Singh in person at his office today, to express his remorse and to congratulate him over winning the election.
“All is well and has been forgotten,” Mr Singh told SBS Punjabi.
“He came to meet me in my office earlier today. All went well. I gave him quite a bit of information about the Sikh faith. He was really apologetic.”
Mr Singh now wants to move on and concentrate on his new role as an area councillor.
“My wife and I have been extensively working for the community for the past many years. In the past, we have extended help to the newly arrived migrants, to help them settle, get jobs, get a driving licence and the focus will remain to continue making such efforts,” said Mr Singh.
Along with Mr Singh, two other candidates of Indian origin also won seats in the council elections in South Australia.
While Surender Pal Singh Chahal has become the area councillor from Plympton, young gun Simrat (Sim) Pal Singh Malhi has won the local government poll from the town of Renmark.
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