Joel Kong’s letter to Jurong Town Council questioning wrongful dismissal of Geraldine Soh

May 11, 2011 by
Filed under: Current Affairs and Politics 

Source: Facebook, FB Notes, 11 May 2011

This is a reply to Mr Ho Thian Poh in relation to his comment on the termination of my girlfriend, Ms Geraldine Soh, from Jurong Town Council.We noted Mr Ho’s comments and would like to ask him a few questions that he would probably be in the best position to answer considering that he was the manager who terminated Geraldine:

(a) Mr Ho alleged that Geraldine had “…weaknesses in attending to calls from residents, and following up on calls”. Considering that she has been with the same Town Council for 3 years, did the Town Council only find out about her inability to perform only now? What was her performance like in the previous 2 years of service?

(b) Mr Ho had also further alleged that Geraldine “was counselled” and that ” counselling of the officer by her supervisors did not lead to improvement…”. We would like to clarify that there was no counselling done by any body in any capacity from ESMACO and/or Jurong Town Council on Geraldine. In fact, the management had occasionally asked staff to go to the manager’s room to inform them that there is a complaint on them. Thereafter, there wasn’t any pointers given to the staff on the ways to tackle the issue, and the staff would be asked to continue her work. This is a common process for her other colleague, namely Zainab and Josephine Goh. In addition, if there was so much of counselling session(s) done to her, please let us have details of the said, inclusive of name of supervisor that did the counselling.

(c) ESMACO had, through Ho Thian Poh, susepnded Geraldine on or around 9.30am on 3rd May 2011 from all duties and she was asked to report back to office on 9th May 2011. No reasons were given for the suspension and she was told that a reason would only be given to her when she return to office on 9th May 2011. Is this the correct procedure? We would also like to check on the number of staff suspended by Jurong Town Council without reasons since Mr Ho Thian Poh had taken over as General Manager. We would also like to further check on the number of staff suspended by Jurong Town Council without reason, and subsequently have their employment terminated by Town Council after returning from suspension.

(d) With reference to Point (c), Geraldine returned to office at 8.25am on 9th May 2011 and was refused access to her workdesk, instead she was asked to wait at the sofa in the Town Council. She was then seen by her managers Ho Thian Poh and Ong Ah Hai in the Conference Room, in which the former terminated her employment at that instance for the reason of ‘poor performance’.

(i) Geraldine was informed that she was suspended for ‘poor performance’. However, she was subsequently dismissed immediately at the end of her suspension for the same reason. Why was she given the suspension then, since an immediate termination on 3rd May 2011 would be more economical viable to the company?

(ii) Why was Geraldine not given any WRITTEN WARNING prior to her suspension that would eventually lead to her dismissal from the company? Geraldine was also not warned about her poor performance by the management.

Accordingly, she had obtained a “C” grade (which was the national average) for her Peformance Evaluation during the latest assessment and was only 1% away from getting a “B” grade which would come with a 1 month bonus as reward.

(iii) As such, with point d(ii) in hand, is it fair for ESMACO to terminate her for ‘poor performance’ given the circumstances?

(iv) We would also like to query why the termination was made exactly on the 1st working day after the General Elections. Had she not been unnecessarily suspended for a week, Geraldine would be dismissed before the General Elections.

(e) Accordingly, Geraldine was given her compensation and salary in the presence of reporters from The New Paper and TODAY newspaper. However, it was noted that no termination letter accompanied the cheque payment. We strongly believed that the decision to terminate Geraldine’s services would had been made before 9th May 2011, but the manner in which the termination was done suggests otherwise. What happen to the termination letter and when would Geraldine receive it?

(f) It was noted that Mr Ong Ah Hai, had, after suspending Geraldine, passed information to an RC Member informing that Geraldine had ‘passed on confidential information to the Oppostion’ during her course of work. Mr Ong had also called Geraldine and queried her on the same. Further to that, Mr Ong Ah Hai also called Geraldine on her personal mobile phone asking her about some contact list and accused her of disseminating to the Oppositions.

We would like to clarify that Geraldine had clicked on the wrong document for printing. Having found out that the document that was printed out contains confidential information including contact information of staff in Jurong Town Council, she proceeded to dispose it into the waste paper bin. Mr Ong Ah Hai was unable to find the said rubbish in the waste paper bin and alleged that Geraldine had printed out the information to ‘pass on to the Oppostion’. He further imposed upon Geraldine that he would make a police report on her and also sue her should she continue her actions.

Geraldine had since been informed by Mr Ho Thian Poh that she is being cleared off all suspicions of the above and no actions would be taken towards this matter.

As such, we demand that Mr Ong Ah Hai rectify this matter to the RC member that he had spoken with, via a written letter, as well as issue a public apology to Geraldine Soh, with regards to the allegations that he had made on her without any proof or evidence. We would also further impress upon Mr Ong Ah Hai to retract back, without reservations and doubt, all fraudualant statements that was made with regards to this matter.

With regards to Point (a) to (e), we would expect Mr Ho Thian Poh to clarify the concerns with regards to the termination of Geraldine’s dismissal from ESMACO. It is vital for us to know the reason for her suspension and immediate termination straight after her suspension to determine that this is not a case of unlawful dismissal.

Please be informed that we would bring this matter up for Ministry of Manpower (MOM)’s review should we not receive a satisfactory answer from your goodself pertaining to matters set forth in this letter.

Thank you.

Joel Kong on behalf of Geraldine Soh

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