The messages was racist, narrow minded and reflects the ignorance of some Chinese bosses in Singapore.
In short, the SMS to Heidi Heng flat out told her that If she doesn’t eat pork and can’t assimilate with their group, you can’t be part of our team.
We paid a visit to Light Art Studio Pte Ltd and spoke with Bosco Cheng, the Director of the company allegedly held by Heidi to have sent the text.
“No one from my company sent that message to her”, said Cheng. “We are not even hiring!”
Cheng is furious at the accusations. “It is a screen capture and the internet makes blind assumptions that the person in the text was from my company”. Cheng had made a police report, although it was not clear if the reports were directed at Heidi or towards the threats coming in from the public. Ever since the screen capture went viral, Cheng had been receiving annonymous calls with threats, vulgarities and pranks. “I don’t even dare to step out of my shop now, I’ve even parked my car far away!”
Customers have called to cancel orders with him and some have called to express their concern and anger.
“Do you think you have been set-up”? I asked.
“I’m running a clean business” he said with teeth clenched, “So whatever it is, if I didn’t do it…I don’t want to make any wild guess (sic)”.
But he didn’t want to clarify the matter either. “I don’t want to do it myself (clarify online) because I didn’t do it at all. There is no need to defend myself”, he explained.
Cheng attempted to contact Heidi throughout the day, but had received no replies from her.
“…and finally this girl replied me at 6+pm and clarifies that this person in the SMS claims to be from his company… that’s it!” he said with an amazed look.
I asked if Cheng wanted to pursue civil proceedings against Heidi since he is innocent and seems to have suffered much damage to his reputation. However, he wants the matter to rest and does not want to pursue the matter any further.
We ran a quick check and the number on Heidi’s phone appears to start with 9238xxxx and it does not coincide with any mobile numbers on the name cards of Light Art Studio Pte Ltd. The company had also not posted any recruitment advertisements on job seek sites recently. However, that point may be irrelevant as the source of Heidi’s grouse was not an active job search, but rather an invitation to hire at via an introduction posted on Gumtree Singapore.
Meanwhile, Heidi has made a police report of her own regarding the matter. However, it remains to be seen what the purpose of the report is: there are currently no laws against discriminatory/racist private communications. If actions were to be pursued, these would all be through civil actions.
If there is an impersonation of Light Art Studio, then yes – the matter would become a criminal case.
(A copy of Light Art Studio’s police statement)