Foodcourt cleaner verbally abused by woman gets job offers from restaurant owners

Part-time cleaner Png Lye Heng (right) was the victim of a female patron's tongue lashing after he tried to clear her tray despite her objections.
Part-time cleaner Png Lye Heng (right) was the victim of a female patron's tongue lashing after he tried to clear her tray despite her objections.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Several restaurant owners have stepped forward to offer Mr Png Lye Heng a job, after the foodcourt cleaner expressed his intention to quit in the wake of his encounter with a woman who berated him.

The 64-year-old, who is deaf and mute, said in an interview via written questions and gestures on Monday (June 6) that he was planning to leave the Jem foodcourt where he works as a result of the incident last Friday.

A Straits Times reader who wanted to be known only as Mr Ang said he was interested in hiring Mr Png to work at one of the two ramen shops he runs at Buona Vista and a mall on Orchard Road.

"I wasn't angry when I read about his predicament, but as an SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) owner I thought I should lend a helping hand," said the 28-year-old.

Mr Ang is hoping to sit down for a chat with Mr Png before deciding if the latter is a good fit, as it would be his first time hiring an employee with disabilities.

 
 

"Maybe a kitchen helper role would suit him, as there would not be much interaction with customers," Mr Ang said, adding that he was prepared to offer Mr Png a monthly salary of between $1,400 and $1,700.

Another ST reader, who declined to be named, also expressed interest in offering Mr Png a position as a steward or a cleaner at his chain of Thai restaurants.

Mr Png told reporters on Monday he had been working at the Jurong mall foodcourt for about a year and enjoyed his job.

He added that he would continue to work in this line after quitting.

The incident involving Mr Png and the woman - later identified as 37-year-old administrator Alice Fong - went viral after a video of it was posted by Facebook user Euphemia Lee.

It showed Ms Fong berating Mr Png in a loud voice for clearing her food before she had finished her meal, and attracted widespread criticism of her behaviour.

While various media reports said Ms Fong had gone to the home of Mr Png's elder brother to present a gift and apologise on Sunday, the brother told Chinese newspaper Shin Min Daily News on Tuesday that Ms Fong had not paid them a visit.

Since the incident, people have been spotted visiting the foodcourt to hand Mr Png gifts such as supermarket vouchers.