IT company manager admits to hurting and abusing worker

Lee Yew Nam admitted to four of six charges of hurting his employee.
Lee Yew Nam admitted to four of six charges of hurting his employee. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - An information technology company manager whose assault on his employee went viral on YouTube and caused a public uproar pleaded guilty on Tuesday.

Lee Yew Nam, of Encore eServices, admitted to four of six charges of hurting Mr Calvin Chan Meng Hock, 31, at the Jurong Town Hall Road office.

The court heard that other than his wife, Lee did not have any permanent employees. He would hire interns from universities and polytechnics to do the work.

Mr Chan was paid $500 a month in 2010 as an intern for six months. After that, he continued to work in the company on the same pay.

Investigations revealed that Lee would sometimes physically assault Mr Chan for mistakes that he made at work, and would also scold him with vulgarities.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sarah Ong said sometime in January 2013, Lee felt that Mr Chan had not arranged the software files in the computer neatly and slapped him.

The following month, he punched Mr Chan on the face a few times and pushed him, causing him to lose his balance and fall off the chair. He had felt that Mr Chan had not answered a customer's request correctly.

On May 14 that year, Lee reprimanded the victim for failing to comply with his instructions to delete some files in the database.

When the victim said he had forgotten, Lee grabbed his chin and pulled it back with force. Lee told him: "Look carefully again, go through the folders and delete all the files that need to be deleted. Remember not to do this again."

The next day, Lee questioned the victim about his work. Not satisfied with his explanation, Lee became increasingly agitated and started to shout at him.

Lee threw a punch at Mr Chan's head. Another intern at the time, Mr Amos Yeo, 25, asked Lee to calm down. But Lee continued to scold Mr Chan before slapping him three times on the face.

Mr Yeo had recorded a video of the incident with his mobile phone, and subsequently uploaded it on YouTube.

The case was adjourned to Sept 14.

The maximum punishment for causing hurt is two years' jail and a $5,000 fine.