SINGAPORE: NTUC’s Secretary—General, Lim Swee Say, said firing Amy Cheong was one of the most difficult decisions he has had to make.
He has appealed to the public to learn from this incident and to move on.
Mr Lim added it was important to uphold the labour movement’s core values of inclusiveness and racial harmony.
On Monday, NTUC sacked Ms Cheong following her online posting which was deemed racist.
One day after Amy Cheong’s Facebook posting on Malay weddings at void decks went viral, the buzz online seemed more reflective in tone.
Advice columns on which privacy settings Facebook users should take note of was shared and a Facebook page called "Forgive Amy Cheong" was created on Tuesday morning.
A social media expert said the incident has shown that society is not afraid to speak up against inappropriate comments and behaviour.
Special research adviser at Institute of Policy Studies and member of Media Literacy Council, Arun Mahizhnan, said: "The heartening thing about the Amy Cheong incident is that quite a number of Singaporeans including many Chinese have reacted quite strongly against her racist expressions. That says something about our society’s ability to distinguish between prejudice and a fair comment."
NTUC hopes something good will come out of this episode.
Mr Lim said: "Social media can play a positive role in our society or it can lead to negative consequences. It all depends on how we make use of this platform. It’s a painful experience for the NTUC to go through. At the same time, we should spare a thought for the pain that she’s going through. She has gone through some counselling. She has realised the grave mistake that she has made."
NTUC said Ms Cheong had violated a clause in its terms and conditions of employment which states that staff must observe proper decorum in all forms of communication.
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