S’pore Sikh Man Shares Company’s Apology, Offers To Teach Staff On Sikhism

S’porean Sikh Man Says Company Has Made Official Apology, He Won’t Name & Shame Them

When a Singaporean Sikh man applied for a job, he was appalled to find out that his turban may be an issue.

An employee of the company also made some insensitive remarks, asking whether “the cloth thingy” was removable.

His Facebook post on the matter went viral, leading the company in question to issue an official apology and accept his offer to teach its staff about Sikhism.


Agency manager apologises for colleagues’ actions

In a Facebook update on Tuesday (21 Jul), Mr Parvitar Singh said he had a heartfelt conversation with the manager of the agency.

She apologised for her colleague’s actions, acknowledging that they were uncalled for.


Official apology issued

Mr Singh also attached a screenshot of the official apology he received from the agency.

While he didn’t include the name, the person who wrote the apology appears to be the lady he initially spoke to over the phone, who asked whether his turban was removable.


She admitted that she had caused hurt, and that she needed to educate herself and be more aware of others.

She also revealed that she was a mother of 2 children and wouldn’t want the same thing to happen to them.

He will teach company about Sikhism

Since some people clearly need education on these matters, Mr Singh offered to conduct an online class about Sikhism for the agency.

After all, Sikh men don the turban for symbolic and cultural purposes, and this is a rather common sight in multi-cultural Singapore. So there’s no excuse for people to be ignorant of this, especially Singaporeans.


He also will teach the company about what the turban signifies to Sikhs, and how the Singapore Constitution enshrines the right for everyone to practice their religion in the workplace.

Mr Singh also offered to train the agency on how it can be sensitive to religious practices and backgrounds when interacting with prospective clients and candidates.

The company has accepted his offer, and will schedule the sessions soon, he said.

Naming & shaming isn’t the point, education is

Some netizens have asked Mr Singh to reveal the name of the company and the woman who made the insensitive remarks to him.

However, he will not be doing so, as he said it’s against his morals and religious teachings to shame people.

He also noted that the woman had 2 kids, and didn’t want to destroy her life and that of her family.

Instead, he has taken the high road of educating the agency and the employee in question, so that with awareness, they won’t create such a situation in future.

After, the point of his initial post was not to name and shame, but to bring to attention that there is discrimination in Singapore, and we have to address it.


Netizens praise the way he handled situation

Most netizens commended the way Mr Singh handled the situation — with empathy and communication instead of nastiness.


One hoped that others would emulate the forgiving spirit that he showed.


Another also said that if we want others to change, we must set an example ourselves and avoid a confrontational method.


Handling sensitive issues with openness

This situation could have been a very nasty one for all involved, but thank goodness it was handled with class and understanding by Mr Singh, even though he was clearly hurt by the woman’s remarks.

Kudos too to the company for being open enough to recognise their mistake and quickly rectify it.

The incident is an example of how sensitive issues like race can be handled in Singapore — we can’t sweep it under the carpet and pretend discrimination doesn’t exist, because it does.

Neither should we resort to immediately making police reports whenever someone says something that hurts your feelings.

If there’s anything we’ve learnt from this incident, it’s that open, honest and non-judgmental discussion is best.

Featured image adapted from Facebook and Facebook.

Drop us your email so you won't miss the latest news.

  • More From Author