On Sunday evening, Singaporean woman Amy Cheong posted up offensive public statuses on her personal Facebook timeline, slamming Malay void deck weddings. The profanity-laced posts were picked up by the public and a few hours later, it went viral.
Amy Cheong also happens to be a graduate from the University of Western Australia, and the assistant director of Singapore’s National Trades Union Congress (NTUC).
Statuses which read, “How many f*cking days do Malay weddings at void decks go on for? F*ck!!!! Pay for a real wedding you asshole, maybe then the divorce rate won’t be so high! How can society allow people to get married for 50 bucks? Kns!” and “Void deck weddings should be banned. If you can’t afford a proper wedding then you shouldn’t be getting married. Full stop!” sparked a furious backlash on NTUC’s social media platforms.
Netizens bombarded NTUC’s UMembers Facebook page, asking for Amy to be fired and seeking the trade organ’s response to her post.
Meanwhile, on Amy’s end of the backlash, her Facebook account has since been deactivated. But before she took it down, she published an apology which read, “Hi All, I sincerely apologize for my silly comment. It is in no way a reflection of NTUC and the good works it has done and is doing for its members. It was my own bad judgement of which I truly regret. I certainly do not mean to distress the Malay community with my comment, I was just upset with the noise. I truly do not mean to be judgmental or critical. I am truly sorry”. (Source)
She was also seen trying to deal with her great big Internet blow up by repeatedly posting up apologies via her Twitter account and therefore, spamming the world:
But it’s too little too late.
An hour ago, NTUC announced that they’ve sacked the assistant director from its membership division after she posted offensive comments on her personal Facebook account.
In a statement sent to the media, NTUC’s secretary-general Lim Swee Say said the trade organisation has “terminated with immediate effect” the services of Ms Amy Cheong, Assistant Director, Membership department after establishing with her that she did post offensive comments on 7th October 2012.
“Regrettably and rightly so, her comments have upset members of the public, including many union members. We are sorry that this has happened. We have counselled the staff and impressed upon her the seriousness of her action. She is remorseful and has apologised for her grave lapse of judgement”, he added.
He also reiterated in his statement that the NTUC “takes a serious view on racial harmony in Singapore”, adding that it “will not accept and have zero tolerance towards any words used or actions taken by (its) staff that are racially offensive”. (Source)
It seems that Amy Cheong has released yet another apology for her great big social media blow up. In the four-paragraph long statement, she said how terrible sorry she is to all who were affected, and that she’s aware of the pain she has caused through her insensitive remarks:
But even that hasn’t helped her case.
Because just a few hours ago, Lee Hsien Loong (Prime Minister of Singapore) also released a statement on his Facebook page. In his official words (but in not so many words), he condemned the “wrong and totally unaccetapble” racist remarks that Amy Cheong made via several Facebook statuses.
In the same note, he also said that he’s fully supportive of NTUC’s quick move to terminating her:
Whatever the Prime Minister says, goes, Amy. That’s a huge pill to swallow and a gigantic lesson learnt for you.