Singapore — Any form of discrimination against anyone has “no place at all in our society and, most certainly, not at the workplace,” said President Halimah Yacob on Thursday (Aug 20).
After being asked about the incident by reporters, Mdm Halimah took to Facebook to respond to the business owner who alleged on her social media that a sales promoter she had hired was asked to remove her hijab by Tangs before she could work at Tangs department store.
In a Facebook post, Ms Raine Anastasia Chin, the business owner, wrote: “Less than 10 minutes while she was with ABR, the “A” management came and demanded my PT to remove her tudung and insist this is the rule of using their premises”.
In addition, she claimed that “no one informed us on this grooming rule… abiding the rules of “A” is not an issue, but the discrimination and the tone used during the instructive period was wrong”.
Mdm Halimah also added that “People should be assessed solely on their merits and their ability to do a job and nothing else. Discrimination at the workplace is particularly disturbing because it deprives the person affected from earning a living.”
Speaking in the Singapore context, she said: “Diversity is our strength and our society has already embraced it.” She also called on employers to “fully embrace diversity at the workplace and do their part to uphold the values of a fair and open society”.
Following the case being publicized, a Tangs spokesperson said that it intends to allow all employees to wear religious headgear while working. Tangs also confirmed that the standardization of its dress code will apply to both employees and external brand partners of the department store.
“As a Singaporean company with a diverse and multi-racial workforce, we must respect cultural and religious practices and requirements on all accounts… We have made an immediate change to ensure a policy that uniformly respects all our employees and our brand partners,” Tangs said in its statement on Friday.
This is also not the first time Mdm Halimah has chimed in to settle certain cultural issues. On June 15, she had also publicly ordered local podcast Okletsgo to apologize to women for their crude and misogynistic content. /TISG