International Business & Economy Should ST apologise to Surbana?

Should ST apologise to Surbana?




- Advertisement -

By: Leong Sze Hian

Surbana CEO defends axing “poor performers”

I refer to the article “Surbana CEO defends axing ‘poor performers’” (Straits Times, Jan 19).

It states that “”We cannot allow our 1 per cent of poor performers to continue to affect the rest of the 99 per cent of staff who are performing.”

- Advertisement -

54 poor performers – 0.79% of Singapore staff

Mr Wong in his e-mail said 54 employees were identified as poor performers – representing 0.41 per cent of Surbana Jurong’s global workforce and 0.79 per cent of its Singapore staff.

1.8 or 0.79%?

As to “The firm employs about 3,000 workers here” – 54 divided by 3,000 is 1.8 per cent.

So, is it 0.79 per cent or 1.8 per cent?

Should Straits Times apologise to Surbana? 

Since this is the second time in five days that the Straits Times is saying that the company employs about 3,000 workers in Singapore – if the number is incorrect – perhaps the Straits Times should apologise to Surbana Jurong.

Also, since the Straits Times gave the correct number of 13,000 for the company’s global workforce in its article (“Dozens Surbana staff lose their jobs” (Straits Times, Jan 14)) five days ago – it tallies with the 0.41 per cent said by Surbana Jurong now.

Wrong number twice in a row?

Thus, shouldn’t the Straits Times give a clarification as to whether it has gotten the Singapore workforce number wrong twice in a row in five days?

“No retrenchments”

With regard to “Mr Wong added that there were no retrenchments nor was the exercise targeted at any specific business unit, community, discipline or age.

Resign or be terminated?

A former employee, who left Surbana Jurong late last year, told The Straits Times: “In my case, I was given two options: To resign or be terminated once they downgrade our last performance appraisal.” He added that the company had put the two options to him without any prior warning, even though he had been meeting performance targets” – the crux of the matter may not so much be about the right of employers to terminate employees with poor performance, but rather whether by not calling terminations a retrenchment, may mean less or no retrenchment benefits.

1 of the 54 or not?

By the way, what does “A former employee, who left Surbana Jurong late last year” mean? As late as 31 December 2016 which was just two weeks before the first Straits Times report on 14 January 2017?

Other employers follow?

What is there to prevent other employers who terminate 54 employees at one go, or 1.8 or 0.79 per cent of its workforce as the case may be – and say “there were no retrenchments”?

Weak labour laws allow it?

Perhaps it is not the company’s fault, as it may simply be following what our (weak) labour laws allow.

NTUC, MOM, TAFEP, MPs, Straits Times, media, etc – any comments please?Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to 

- Advertisement -

Netizens go to town and blast SPH CEO over his ‘take umbrage’ comment

Update: Mr Ng issued an apology on the subject on Saturday (May 8). He told The Straits Times: "I had stood up for SPH Media's long-cherished editorial integrity and will continue to do so. Being a direct and blunt-speaking person, I...

Head of M’sia-S’pore workers’ group asks if JB workers can serve 21-day SHN at budget hotels

Johor Bahru—In the light of a recent increase in Covid-19 infections, Singapore announced that it is extending Stay-Home Notices (SHN) from 14 days to 21 days for new arrivals to the country starting from Friday (May 7). The only exception will be...

Woman makes her temperature high to test if she can enter shopping malls in S’pore

Singapore – A woman conducted a social experiment by raising her temperature to see if she can still enter shopping malls despite the thermal scanner alarm going off. News and media company Shout uploaded a video on Facebook on Tuesday (May 4)...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to