JP Morgan, employer of man who verbally abused condo security officer, reminds staff to be respectful

The man was filmed verbally abusing a security officer at his Whampoa condominium in a viral video.
The man was filmed verbally abusing a security officer at his Whampoa condominium in a viral video.PHOTOS: SCREENGRABS FROM YOUTUBE

SINGAPORE - JP Morgan, the employer of the man filmed verbally abusing a security officer at his Whampoa condominium in a viral video, has reminded its Singapore-based staff to uphold a "culture of respect" in their daily conduct.

In an internal e-mail memo on Tuesday (Oct 29) seen by The Straits Times, Mr Edmund Lee, the senior country officer of JP Morgan's Singapore offices, said: "Our people, services and commitment to integrity have made JP Morgan one of the most respected financial institutions in the world. We all have a shared responsibility for preserving and building on this strong reputation."

He did not refer to the viral video or explain why he sent the e-mail, choosing only to remind his staff: "All of us... are expected to demonstrate the highest standards, including respect and dignity for others... inside and outside of the workplace."

Mr Lee heads JP Morgan's operations in Singapore which has about 3,000 employees, including locals and foreigners.

When contacted by ST to confirm the e-mail, JP Morgan repeated its statement on Sunday that it is looking into the video and declined to give any detail of the employee.

The viral incident, which has reignited public debate over the treatment of security personnel here, allegedly took place last Friday night, when the man had some guests over at his Whampoa condominium for Deepavali.

In the video uploaded to YouTube on the same day, he is seen expressing his displeasure virulently after being told by security officers that he needed to pay parking fees for guests visiting the condo, exclaiming in anger that he had bought his apartment for $1.5 million and that it was not a Housing Board flat.

 
 

He also swore at one officer, who responded: "We are just enforcing the rules here."

The security officer has made a police report.

Meanwhile, the Union of Security Employees and two security agency associations, as well as Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam and labour MP Zainal Sapari, have weighed in to speak up for security officers.

Mr Zainal also called for the Protection from Harassment Act (Poha), which currently excludes security officers in condominiums and private establishments, to be extended to all security officers "regardless of their work sites".

If the law is extended, those found guilty of abusing or insulting condo security officers could then be fined up to $5,000, jailed for up to a year, or both.

 
 

Since the video became viral over the weekend, details of the man's condo unit and mobile phone number, as well as his alleged pay and education history, have been published online as netizens petitioned for JP Morgan to sack him.

This could run foul of the law as Poha has been amended in May to forbid "doxxing" - the publication of identifiable information about a person with the intention to harass, cause violence or fear of violence to a person. It is not clear if the changes are in force yet.

Mr Tharman and Security Association Singapore president Raj Joshua Thomas have both urged the public to remain calm and let police investigations take their course.

Said the Senior Minister in a Facebook post on Sunday: "We should absolutely avoid threatening or harassing the resident concerned. A police report has been made by the security officer, and we should leave it to the police to handle."