SINGAPORE - The 29-year-old intern abused by his boss at a sofware company, Mr Alan Lee, may fear his temper and violent behaviour but he also commanded admiration in certain aspects from him.
Mr Lee was thrusted into the media spotlight after a video of him repeatedly striking the 29-year-old on his head went viral when a fellow intern recorded the incident and uploaded it online.
Speaking in an interview with Chinese newspaper Lianhe Wanbao, the intern said that while he respected Mr Lee's professionalism, knowledge and skills, his boss had a mean streak about him.
"At first, I thought he was an ok person. But later, I realised he would be easily agitated whenever I did something wrong."
Mr Lee had layed his hands on his 29-year-old subordinate several times -- he was slapped seven times and punched once -- throughout his 2 1/2 stint as an IT consultant with Encore eServices.
According to the intern, the flashpoint caught on camera was ignited after Mr Lee asked him why he did not report a problem with a client to him.
He tried to think of an answer to reply Mr Lee and when the question was repeated, he replied that he had forgotten about it.
That response seemed to agitate the boss, who raised his voice and struck the intern. He struck again after the 29-year-old remained silent.
When the intern's parents confronted Mr Lee about this, he justified his actions as a form of 'teaching' as he treated the intern "like a little brother".
He also apologised profusely to the parents but they were unmoved and told him that they were going to lodge a complaint to the Ministry of Manpower and file a civil suit against him.
Throughout his stint at the company, the intern opted to keep mum about the beatings as he didn't want to drag Mr Lee's family into this.
What he could not describe in words back then, he did it in drawing as he showed off a caricature of Mr Lee depicted as a fear-inducing man in a tiger's skin while handcuffed to an iron ball.
He has since tendered his resignation from the company through email, and has received a few job offers, including one which pays $3,000 -- a far cry from the $500 allowance he was given a month despite clocking up 12-hours shift daily.
He told the newspaper that he plans to move on from this incident, and thanked readers for their concern through a letter.
"Through this incident, I have understood the importance of the rights I enjoy as an employee", he wrote.
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