Tampines 1 apologises after customer complains of racial discrimination by its staff

SINGAPORE - Local shopping mall Tampines 1 has made a public apology after a woman claimed that one of its employees subjected her to racial discrimination.

In a Facebook post on Thursday, Diana Hairul uploaded a screenshot of the staff's response to her email enquiry about setting up a promotional space at the mall.

Hey hey Malay Muslim community of Tampines.Do you patronise Tampines 1? Because apparently they rejected us as their target audience are MAINLY THE CHINESE. I feel DISCRIMINATED.

Posted by Diana Hairul onĀ Thursday, April 7, 2016

The reply read: "We are not so keen to run a Malay road show as our target audience are mainly Chinese. Thus, we regret to inform you that we are unable to rent a space to you."

In her post, Ms Diana addressed the Malay Muslim community in Tampines and asked if they patronised the mall. She also said: "I feel discriminated."

The post garnered over 2,600 shares and 65 comments from users of different ethnicities who criticised the staff's reply.

The management and staff of Tampines 1 would like to unreservedly apologize to Ms Diana Hairul and the Malay community...

Posted by Tampines 1 on Thursday, April 7, 2016

On the same day, Tampines 1 issued an apology on Facebook which said: "Under no circumstances is Tampines 1 discriminating against any race and the management of the company would not tolerate such a position."

It added that the staff member, who signed off as Jen in the email exchange "has been dealt with appropriately," but the mall did not elaborate further.

According to AsiaMalls Management, which owns Tampines 1, spaces around the mall are sometimes rented out on an ad hoc basis.

Tampines MP Masagos Zulkifli also responded when a Facebook user posted about the incident on his page.

He said: "Insensitive and incompetent staff. Good that the mall has apologised."

"For those whose intention is to spread ill will with incidents like this and to people who are insensitive I say 'Shame on you!'"

minlee@sph.com.sg