Minister Tan Chuan-Jin visits Jem foodcourt cleaner; urges employers to hire people with disabilities

Part-time foodcourt cleaner Png Lye Heng working in the Jem foodcourt, on June 6, 2016.
Part-time foodcourt cleaner Png Lye Heng working in the Jem foodcourt, on June 6, 2016.PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - Employers who want to hire people with disabilities but do not know how can turn to SG Enable for help, Minister for Social and Family Development Tan Chuan-Jin has said.

Mr Tan said in a Facebook post on Friday (June 10) that he had visited Mr Png Lye Heng, the deaf cleaner who was reprimanded publicly at Jem foodcourt last week.

"He was in good spirits and gestured to me that he was no longer bothered by the incident," Mr Tan said.

He said that the Ministry will follow up with Mr Png, who has had several job offers after deciding to leave the foodcourt.

He thanked employers who hire people with disabilities, and took the opportunity to tell employers about SG Enable's services.


Mr Tan wrote: "If you would like to consider hiring persons with disabilities but are unsure of where to start, we have available resources for employers on disability employment on SG Enable's Disability Employment portal."

He has also called out to Singaporeans to treat people with disabilities with more empathy.

In the lengthy post, Mr Tan said that more than one third of the public said that they would not employ persons with disabilities if they were an employer, in a survey conducted by the National Council of Social Service.

However, the survey also found that when people got to know people with disabilities, their attitudes towards them improved.

Based on these findings, the ministry has launched a disability awareness campaign to encourage people to see people with disabilities for who they are as individuals, he said.

Of the foodcourt incident, he said: "Whether you have flu or not, or if a person is disabled or not, one shouldn't have behaved in the way the woman did.

"Respect our fellow workers."