TTSH nurse put on admin duties pending anti-S'porean post probe
The nurse who allegedly made anti-Singaporean comments on Facebook has been put on administrative duties while the police investigate whether his account has been hacked.
Filipino Ed Mundsel Bello Ello of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) had allegedly vowed to "evict" Singaporeans from their country in a Facebook post.
It ended with a reminder, that "Pinoy better and stronger than Stinkaporeans".
The post went viral over the weekend, outraging many netizens. Mr Ello subsequently claimed that his Facebook account had been hacked.
A TTSH spokesman, who called the incident a "serious matter", said the nurse has been put on administrative duties while police investigations into his Facebook account are under way.
He told The New Paper yesterday: "We are a public health-care institution, and we expect our staff to be respectful and professional.
"We do not condone behaviours or comments that are irresponsible and offensive, and will take the appropriate disciplinary action where necessary."
He also thanked members of the public for their concern, and asked for their patience for the investigation to take its due course.
Police confirmed that a report had been made.
Similar offensive comments on social media had previously led to some losing their jobs.
Mr Anton Casey was fired from his wealth manager job last year for lamenting about the "stench" of public transport.
In 2012, Ms Amy Cheong lost her job at NTUC after drawing flak for complaining about Malay traditional weddings.
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY
While the social media policy adopted by companies may differ, human resource experts said the general rule is to stay away from the four taboo subjects: race, religion, politics and xenophobia.
Mr Ello's alleged Facebook post falls under the last subject, said Mr Ong Hong Him, a fellow at the Singapore Human Resources Institute.
"It is an unspoken rule," he said. "If you want to have the freedom of speech, be your own boss. But if you want to be an employee, then you are obliged to follow the company's line of practice."
Mr Ong said companies should also impress upon their employees that "there are certain norms to adhere to", like not getting overly involved in sensitive topics.
Mr Tim Klimcke, the associate director at recruitment agency Robert Walters Singapore, agreed.
"Employees should also be mindful of the fact that while under employment, they are still ambassadors of the company and inflammatory comments are not likely to be tolerated," he said.
If the comments are negative in nature, or are made in relation to people in the company, tagging it with a disclaimer that views are personal will not grant the employee immunity, said Mr Paul Heng, the founder of NeXT Career Consulting Group.
Perhaps there is a need for a more developed social media policy here, in an age where social media is the "in" thing, said Ms Annie Yap, the managing director at recruiter AYP Associates.
But she said it may be impossible to enforce it fully, given that there are so many facets of social media to mind.