SINGAPORE: A postman who threw away mail belonging to residents has been found to have special needs, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on Tuesday (May 21).
In January this year, photos posted on social media showed unopened letters belonging to Ang Mo Kio residents discarded in a rubbish bin.
Singapore Post (SingPost) said it referred the case to the police, and a 29-year-old postman was subsequently arrested.
IMDA said on Tuesday that it has completed its investigations into the case and found the postman in breach of the Postal Services Act.
“In the course of its investigations, IMDA found that the postman involved is an individual with special needs and has expressed remorse for his actions,” it said, adding that the postman was “fully cooperative” during the investigations.
“In view of the facts and circumstances, IMDA decided to issue an advisory to the postman.”
A stern warning was issued to SingPost given that mail integrity and security had been compromised in the incident, IMDA said.
In response to queries from CNA, SingPost said the postman had worked "satisfactorily" for the national postal agency for more than three years at the time of the offence.
"We were not aware of his condition throughout his employment with SingPost and he had worked without major incident, even during festive peaks of previous years," it said, adding that he did not declare his condition during his interview.
The postman had been sacked "given the severity of the offence", SingPost said, but was offered re-employment after IMDA's findings.
SingPost told CNA that the postman took up the offer of re-employment in February, a month after the incident. He is in a job that does not involve delivering mail and will not affect service standards, it added.
"SingPost is a firm believer of equal opportunity employment. We will continue to offer jobs to suitable candidates who meet the job requirements of the roles, and to provide comprehensive training and support for our team members," it said in its statement.
In January's incident, the resident who found the discarded mail told CNA that at least 30 to 40 letters – some sent by government agencies – were inside the rubbish bin.
The resident, Mrs Loh, as well as her neighbour said that their mail had gone missing previously.
In February 2018, another SingPost postman was fired after he was found to have thrown away returned letters and direct mail at a condominium.
After a member of the public confronted the postman, he admitted to throwing the mail away and complained that he was tired and had been treated unfairly.