Incidents of mistreatment and discrimination can be hurtful and infuriating, but they can sometimes spark much-needed change.
For example, after the now-infamous Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) lecturer was found to have made discriminatory comments to an interracial couple on the street and a former student, the polytechnic is now making it easier to for other such aggrieved people to come forward.
Ngee Ann Poly Planning to Set up Whistle-Blowing Service for Anyone Who Wants to Complain About Their Employees
Staff, students, parents, and anyone who wishes to lodge a complaint against employees at NP can soon do so through a new and independent whistle-blowing service.
The polytechnic is planning to launch the service so people can “provide feedback without fear of reprisals or victimisation for whistle-blowing in good faith”.
The service can be accessed by those who “notice, are aware of or have any concerns about actual or suspected wrongdoings by any NP employee or management”.
Examples of wrongdoing include improper conduct or unethical behaviour or actions that endanger the health or safety of people or the environment, as well as hiding information about such actions.
Tender Document Published Online
In a tender document that was published on the government procurement website GeBIZ, NP said it’s looking for an external vendor to operate the service.
When it begins operations, whistle-blowers will be able to call a telephone hotline number from Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm.
There will also be a dedicated e-mail address.
According to the document, the operator will need to give advice to complainants and report all incidents to the poly within one day. They will also be required to consolidate reports on incidents.
Current Avenue for Feedback
Until the service is launched, students can raise concerns about staff and other students by sending an e-mail to [email protected]
It is unknown if the new service will replace this.
The tender document for the new service was uploaded on 18 June, one day after NP said it would sack senior lecturer Tan Boon Lee for serious misconduct.
NP Lecturer Made Racist Remarks to Interracial Couple On the Street & Islamophobic Comments to Former Student
For those who have been asleep for the past month, Tan hit the headlines after he made racist remarks to an interracial couple on the street.
In an encounter that was captured on camera, the lecturer called the couple a “disgrace” because they were of different ethnicities.
In the video, Tan also admits to being a racist while unironically wearing a Polo shirt with the word “Singapore” across it.
“I have nothing against Indians, but I think it is racist for an Indian to marry a Chinese girl,” he said to the man, who is half-Indian, half-half-Filipino.
“I’ve got nothing against you personally but I think it is racist that an Indian prey on Chinese girls. Prey, as in predatory.”
The video quickly made the rounds on social media and garnered over half a millions views.
Then, other negative anecdotes about the NP lecturer emerged.
Three days later, a former NP student who was taught by Mr Tan took to social media to recount an uncomfortable experience she had with him in 2017.
She claims that on 28 July 2017, Mr Tan used their class to have a “full-on discourse” about Islam.
The woman said she was the only Muslim in class, and that the lecturer tried asking her for her views on his opinions.
“He even pointed to me (who made the unfortunate decision to sit in the front row) and asked if I agreed with what he was saying. I could barely open my mouth amidst his continuous sweeping statements,” she said.
She ended up leaving the classroom halfway through the lecture as she was offended by what he said.
NP has since apologised to the student, and once the new whistle-blowing service is operational, students with similar concerns will finally have a place to turn to for help.
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