SINGAPORE: An employee at Tampines 1 has been "counselled" after an "insensitive" email reply she had written to a potential event tenant was uploaded to Facebook on Thursday (Apr 7).
Known only as Jen, the staff was responding to a request by Ms Diana Hairul to book event space at the mall at Tampines central. According to her Facebook page, Ms Diana is a local stockist for Malaysian hijab brand Naelofar, and is currently running a week-long showcase at Sembawang Shopping Centre.
"We are not so keen to run a Malay roadshow as our target audience is mainly Chinese," Jen wrote in the email that Ms Diana later shared on her Facebook page. "Thus, we regret to inform you that we are unable to rent a space to you."
According to Ms Diana's post, the reply made her feel "rejected" and "discriminated against". As of 5pm on Friday, her Facebook post had more than 1,700 likes and 2,800 shares.
A spokesperson for Tampines 1 property manager AsiaMalls told Channel NewsAsia that it does not have any "official shopper profile breakdown by race". The spokesperson added: "Our malls welcome shoppers of all races and we do not discriminate."
The management said the interests of its other tenants would be taken into consideration when receiving such applications.
"When external vendors want to use the spaces in the mall, we ask for their merchandise list to ensure it doesn't conflict with the tenants' products," said AsiaMalls. "Our tenants have the first right of refusal when it comes to using the mall spaces as well. This means rejections can happen from time to time."
AsiaMalls did not dispute that its employee had sent the email in question. "We acknowledge that the way the email reply was undertaken is insensitive and sincerely apologise for this," it said, adding that the staff member has been "counselled" for her actions.
AsiaMalls said that as of Friday afternoon, it was still trying to get in touch with Ms Diana by phone for an "opportunity to apologise to her in person". The two parties eventually made contact later that evening, AsiaMalls told Channel NewsAsia, without revealing what was discussed.
Police have also confirmed that a report was filed on Friday. "Investigations are ongoing," the authorities said.