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Discrimination has 'no place at all' in Singapore society and the workplace: President Halimah

Discrimination has 'no place at all' in Singapore society and the workplace: President Halimah

File photo of Singapore President Halimah Yacob in Parliament.

SINGAPORE: Any form of discrimination against anyone has “no place at all” in Singapore society and in the workplace, President Halimah Yacob said on Thursday (Aug 20).

“People should be assessed solely on their merits and their ability to do a job and nothing else,” she said in a Facebook post, adding that workplace discrimination is “particularly disturbing” as it deprives the affected person from earning a living.

“During this COVID-19 period when concerns over jobs and livelihoods are greater, incidents of discrimination exacerbate anxieties and people feel threatened.”

Madam Halimah’s comments come after a business owner alleged on her social media pages that a sales promoter she hired was asked to remove her hijab - a headscarf for Muslim women - before she could work at Tangs department store.

In her Facebook post, Ms Raine Anastasia Chin said she engaged the woman to assist with part-time duties at a pop-up stall at the department store.

The management had asked the girl to remove her headscarf “less than 10 minutes” after she started working and insisted this was a rule in their store, she added.

However, Ms Chin said they were not informed of this grooming rule.

“Abiding by the rules of (the store) is not an issue, but the discrimination and the tone used ... was wrong,” she said.

Madam Halimah said on Thursday that Tangs had since said they would remove the restrictions and allow the hijab to be worn at work.

“Diversity is our strength and our society has already embraced it. I hope that employers too will fully embrace diversity at the workplace and do their part to uphold the values of a fair and open society,” she added.

Source: CNA/ga(ta)

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