Sunday, October 7, 2012

NTUC fired Amy Cheong for racist Facebook comment

Amy Cheong, an assistant director with National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), has used her 15 minutes of fame time yesterday, in a very wrong way. This Sunday evening, she has wrote a really rude and  unacceptable comment on her Facebook timeline on Sunday evening complaining about a Malay wedding in a void deck near her home (what did Amy Cheong say? See the image below). The uncalled comments immediately created a public outcry in Singapore and internet users have bombarded her employer's, NTUC’s, UMembers Facebook page between Sunday evening and Monday morning, calling for her dismissal and seeking the trade organ’s response to her post. And today, NTUC Amy Cheong, for her racist remarks on Facebook:
The National Trades Union Congress (NTUC) has sacked an assistant director from its membership division after she posted offensive comments on her personal Facebook account.
In a statement sent to the media, its secretary-general Lim Swee Say said the trade organisation has "terminated with immediate effect the services of Ms Amy Cheong, Assistant Director, Membership department after establishing with her that she did post offensive comments... on 7 October 2012".[1]

Amy Cheong Facebook comment
These terrible comment cost Amy Cheong her job
Photo - Yahoo SG
Amy Cheong, later inactivated her Facebook account, but before she has published an apology on the UMembers Facebook page:

“Hi All, I sincerely apologize for my silly comment. It is in no way a reflection of NTUC and the good works it has done and is doing for its members. It was my own bad judgement of which I truly regret. I certainly do not mean to distress the Malay community with my comment, I was just upset with the noise. I truly do not mean to be judgmental or critical. I am truly sorry."[2]

She has later issued a formal apology to the media:
"In the four-paragraph long statement, she said that she is "terribly sorry to all who were affected emotionally, mentally and in all other aspects." 
She acknowledged that she is aware of the pain she has caused through her insensitive remarks and asked for the public to view her as a person offering her most sincere apology."[5]
According to some sources, Amy Cheong is a Singapore Permanent Resident who was born in Malaysia but holds Australian citizenship. After the incident and losing her job, she has left Singapore for Perth, Australia on Oct 8 2012:

In a report in The New Paper, Cheong, who is in her 30s, had revealed that she is a Singapore permanent resident who has lived here for ten years. She had moved to Australia from Malaysia when she was eight, before finally choosing to settle here. 
She says she initially chose to live here because people here could speak English and were culturally diverse, with different festivals and a wide variety of food. Despite her rant, she claims her exposure to people of many backgrounds and cultures over the years means that she sees everyone as "the same, regardless of their race or colour."[6]
She also revealed that she had been publicly threatened over the incident, with some making "really nasty" comments about her. She decided to leave because she had feared for her safety and hoped to reduce tension by staying away.

According to media, Singapore police are investigating the former NTUC staff who was fired on Monday morning for her profanity-laced post insulting traditional Malay void deck weddings:
A police report was filed against Amy Cheong, assistant director, membership department at labour movement NTUC, by a member of the public, Lionel Jerome de Souza on Monday morning. 
De Souza is the secretary of Hougang's Inter-Racial and Confidence Circle (IRCC), which comes under the purview of the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports. In his report, he urged the police to take a serious view of Cheong's comments which "inevitably hurt the feelings of the Malays".[3]

Amy Cheong
Amy Cheong later apologized publicly before deactivating her Facebook account.
Photo - AsiOne
Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam said the comments "are shameful and completely unacceptable" and added that "this confirms what I had long suspected and said: there are deep fault lines in our society, based on race/religion":
Ex-NTUC staff Amy Cheong's Facebook comments have confirmed that there are "deep fault lines" based on race/religion in Singapore society, said Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam today. 
Ms Cheong had posted a comment on Malay weddings at void decks on her personal Facebook page on Sunday. In response, the NTUC today said it terminated the services of Ms Cheong, who was an Assistant Director in its Membership Department. 
Noting that the emergence of the Internet and social media "frees some people to say what is really in their hearts", Mr Shanmugam said: " Her comments reflect a deep seated racist attitude coupled with contempt for those who are less well off, or who wish to spend less."[4]
[1] - NTUC sacks assistant director over racist remarks on Facebook
[2] - NTUC fires Assistant Director for racist comments
[3] - Police report filed against Amy Cheong over racist Facebook post
[4] - Facebook comment confirms "deep fault lines" in S'pore society: K Shanmugam
[5] - The former assistant director of NTUC membership who was let go for her racially insensitive remarks made on Facebook has released a formal statement of apology to the media.
[6] - The real Amy Cheong: She's an Australian citizen born in Malaysia

No comments:

Post a Comment