Police, fair employment watchdog looking into allegations against NOC's Sylvia Chan

Ms Sylvia Chan is facing allegations of workplace bullying and other misdeeds in a blog post.
Ms Sylvia Chan is facing allegations of workplace bullying and other misdeeds in a blog post.PHOTO: SYLSYLNOC/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - The police and the fair employment watchdog are looking into allegations made online against Night Owl Cinematics' (NOC) co-founder Sylvia Chan.

Past and present employees have leaked audio clips and screenshots to accuse Ms Chan of bullying her staff and committing other misdeeds.  

She has in turn filed a magistrate's complaint to seek police investigations into death threats and harassment against her, among other things.

A spokesman for Ms Chan told The Straits Times on Thursday (Oct 21) that there was "a concerted and coordinated effort to discredit and disparage Sylvia".

The developments come more than two weeks after Ms Chan was first accused of bullying behaviour in the workplace and using expletives on her staff.

Ms Chan's spokesman said the 33-year-old has fallen victim to a campaign which includes "death threats, incessant harassment, hacking of her e-mails, loss of access to NOC's financial systems and records, and even a sex video".

There have been videos leaked online, purportedly of Ms Chan engaged in a sex act.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Manpower and the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (Tafep) said they have received feedback from members of the public about allegations against NOC. Tafep is in touch with the production company to look into the matter.

The statement added: "Employers should keep their workplaces safe by preventing and managing workplace harassment. They also have a legal obligation to pay employees their salary on time."

New revelations about Ms Chan's behaviour were published in a lengthy blog post on Tuesday (Oct 19). They were supposedly made by past and present employees of NOC.

Ms Felicia Tung, a former lead executive producer at NOC, has corroborated some of the details in the blog with The Straits Times in an e-mail interview.

Ms Tung, whose job scope included working as an accounts manager, told ST she had to chase for commissions promised to her for six months.

She worked at NOC for about three years and left at the end of last year. She declined to give her age.

The post also included a nine-minute video extract of a supposed Zoom meeting with Ms Chan, her former husband and fellow co-founder Ryan Tan, 33, as well as several other staff. Ms Tung, who said she was at the meeting, said it occurred in August last year.

In it, Mr Tan confronted Ms Chan about late payments for NOC staff, advocated for better working conditions and expressed his displeasure at her arriving two hours late for shoots.

In the clip, Ms Chan looked at her phone and called Mr Tan's comments "personal grievances".

With regard to these new accusations, Ms Chan's spokesman said she "intends to address and thoroughly rebut every one of (them) in due course".

He said that some of the "evidence" published had been "skilfully edited to conveniently leave out portions" to paint a false narrative to the public.

When contacted for comment, Mr Tan told ST: "Given recent developments, the company will be taking steps to address the problems that have been raised by both current and former employees."

"While there may be heightened scrutiny and interest in matters relating to NOC, I hope that members of the public extend the same kindness and civility that they have shown to me to other individuals who may be involved in these recent developments."