Office bullying video sparks outcry in Singapore


05:46 PM May 22nd, 2013

May 22nd, 2013 05:46 PM

SINGAPORE — A Singapore company supervisor caught on video slapping a male intern is in trouble after the clip went viral on the web and sparked a public outcry.

Police confirmed to AFP that a complaint had been lodged against the supervisor, who works at a software company, and the manpower ministry said it had also been alerted about the alleged case of workplace abuse.

The 17-second “Singapore office bully” clip, first uploaded on the video-sharing website YouTube last Friday, showed the boss repeatedly slapping a younger man described by local media as a 29-year-old intern.

A fellow intern who filmed the video said in a posting at an online forum that he had noticed the supervisor “constantly bullying” his co-worker soon after starting his internship.

When he confronted the boss, the supervisor explained that “there is a story behind” the abuse.

“He said that my colleague apparently has an inferiority complex and apparently my supervisor is trying to ‘nurture’ him to get over it,” he said.

“I felt this was stupid, as how can you nurture someone by hitting them? My co-worker is very timid and seems like the kind of guy that will not stand up for himself.”

The Straits Times reported Wednesday that after the video went viral, two former interns in the same company also came out to say they had worked in fear under the supervisor.

Local Chinese-language newspaper Shin Min said the intern, a university graduate, was being paid Sg$500 ($400) a month and that his parents may seek compensation from the firm.

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