The Online Citizen

Roy Ngerng’s termination: “Sub judice” and “due process”?

Roy Ngerng’s termination: “Sub judice” and “due process”?
June 11
19:00 2014

By Leong Sze Hian

I refer to Tan Tock Seng Hospital’s (TTSH) statement on the termination of Roy Ngerng’s contract of employment.

It states that “In particular, they cannot defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public”.

Don’t you find these remarks rather puzzling? How did or could TTSH have come to the conclusion that (Roy Ngerng) has “defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public” – when the first court hearing of the defamation suit is scheduled to be in early July?

Isn’t it for the court to decide whether Roy had “defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public”, instead of TTSH?

I am a layman – but, could this be “sub judice”?

Is it the norm for TTSH, or for that matter any hospital public or private – to issue a press statement when it terminates an employee – apparently within minutes or hours of as I understand it after Roy Ngerng was informed of his termination?

For how many times in TTSH’s history – has it issued a press statement when it terminated an employee?

As I understand that Roy was just informed on the afternoon of 10 June of his termination – as a matter of natural justice – shouldn’t it be in the interest of fairness and due process for Roy to have been given the time for an opportunity to appear before a panel to defend the accusations against him – and in particular the “defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public”?

Would the Ministry of Manpower, TAFEP and the NTUC like to comment whether due process was carried out by TTSH?

In this regard, according to TAFEP’s Tripartite Guidelines On Fair Employment Practices - Dismissals and retrenchments – “An enquiry should be conducted to allow the employee to present his or her case before any decision is made with regard to dismissing the employee”.

And what a coincidence that the Ministry of Health (MOH) also issues a press statement within hours if not minutes, on Roy Ngerng’s termination by TTSH, which said that it supports TTSH’s decision to terminate Mr Ngerng’s contract, as his “actions show a lack of integrity and are incompatible with the values and standards of behaviour expected of hospital employees”

Is it the norm for the MOH to issue press statements when a public hospital terminates an employee?

For how many times in MOH’s history – has it issued a press statement when a public hospital terminated an employee?

Also, how did MOH know about Roy’s termination – such that they were able to issue a “supporting” press statement almost at the same time?

Was MOH notified by TTSH in advance? Do public hospitals notify MOH whenever they terminate a staff? How many times has this happened in the history of TTSH and MOH?

As to “Mr Ngerng’s conduct was incompatible with the values and standards we expect of our employees. While our staff are free to pursue their personal interests outside work, they must conduct themselves properly, honourably and with integrity” – is TTSH referring to Roy “was found to have misused his time and resources while at work to pursue “personal and non-job-related interests”” or ”defame someone else without basis, which essentially means knowingly stating a falsehood to the public”?

If it is the latter – how can TTSH in a sense, impinch upon Roy’s “‘honour’ (ably) and with ‘integrity’” – when the court case has not even commenced its first hearing yet?

By the way, I understand that Roy’s father has received a letter informing him that his hawker stall in a market food centre is not clean enough. I wonder for how many years his father has been a hawker and how many of such letters has he ever received?

Addendum: ”An apology, under section 20, does not constitute admission of fault, and while it does not affect the right to assert, continue or enforce an action for defamation, an apology is not admissible as proof of fault or liability.” (see more)

 
  • ASE

    Thank you for this Mr Leong. I just want to point out you have a slight misunderstanding of the situation here. The hospital, in its press statement, did say they paid Roy Ngerng his period of notice. In other words, this is treated as a mere “termination of contract”, which is allowed under Section 10 of the Employment Act:

    “10.—(1) Either party to a contract of service may at any time give to the other party notice of his intention to terminate the contract of service.”

    The only requirement is to give sufficient notice, from as short as one day for less than 26 weeks of service, to 4 weeks for more than 5 years of service. He was not terminated under allegation of misconduct, which is provided for under Section 14:

    “14.—(1) An employer may after due inquiry dismiss without notice an employee employed by him on the grounds of misconduct inconsistent with the fulfilment of the express or implied conditions of his service except that instead of dismissing an employee an employer may —”

    If they do allege misconduct, they do not need to pay the notice period, but this is obviously not the route the hospital has taken. So, it is pointless asking MOM about due process because there is no need for it since it was not about “misconduct”! Trust me, from personal anecdotal experience, this is exactly what MOM has said, and will continue to say until the employment laws patch this loophole.

    In other words, you have fewer rights (on paper anyway) without misconduct alleged than if you were sacked for misconduct! Ridiculous? But that is exactly what the laws say, and exactly how MOM interprets and enforces it as well.

    So the point which the silly types here don’t get is that if the hospital did think there was misconduct, then they should have terminated him “after due inquiry”, and saved the one month notice period pay. Instead they take the cowardly employer’s way out, and then still defame him.

    • Samson

      This is Singapore lor (or is it law).

    • susu

      Actually, TTSH has already done their best to keep Roy until someone cannot wait anymore ….. !
      I will still curse that political gangster dead of multiple cancer and go to hell.

  • Samson

    Confirm something very wrong with CPF.

    • GUSSIE91

      yup………if nothing is wrong w/CPF, please explain and no need to sue Roy

    • SamsonPAP

      If you can confirm that something is wrong with CPF, please do not hesitate for one bleedin’ second in sharing it.

      Please share it. Or else you are making some really serious allegations. So far everyone at Hong Lim was only saying that CPF is unfair, transparent, ridiculous, useless – which are all fair sentiments.

      What you are saying is an entirely different matter altogether.

      I can understand that you hate PAP. It is your right to do so. But when you not only allege but “confirm” that something is very wrong with CPF, you should be very, very certain about what you are talking about.

      (screen shot taken)

  • nelsonmandala

    I understand that Roy’s father has received a letter informing him that his hawker stall in a market food centre is not clean enough.

    ……………….
    woah! picked on ROYs not enuff..now goin after ROYs’ father..what next? gonna picked on ROYs mother and sister perhaps? this remind me of feudal emperors/kings of china..totally wiped out the whole CLAN

    • susu

      And this is why i keep on cursing that political gangster dead of cancer and go to hell. I will pray to God to increase using his power of cursing from on.

    • Kyleced

      TOC better investigate this claim otherwise your site will be use as a bedrock for generating false hood.

      • nelsonmandala

        do any persons ere believed such dirty trick tatics neber been used b4?
        when francis seow was forced to seek political asylum in USA..the singapoor rulin govt demand xtraDICKson for francis seow to attend a court earin in singapoor..francis seow present a doctor’s order on the ground that francis seow is sick and cannot travelled on long haul flight…
        what did the garhmen dirty trick dept do? they go thru francis seow amex spendage and discovered that francis seow used his amex to order hard liquor
        do YOU personally allowed YOUR credit card issuere to giv YOUR personal details on spendin habits?

      • SamsonPAP

        He’s just pulling shit out of his ass.

        Story of his life. Just look at how he ended up in life.

    • Alan

      Probably his dog suffer too that’s why you have been barking no stop! Sad!

      • Samson

        You want to attack his dog too? I already said what is YOUR problem? Roy’s integrity caused you what losses? Instead of stating your grievance here, you replied that you prefer to go talk to your dog so why don’t you?

        • Alan

          No. I’m a dog lover. But it’s your dog that try to pick fight with everyone! Thought your master already put him on a leash?
          He be civil! i be civil!
          Did I ever answer you this way?

        • SamsonPAP

          Integrity? Hahaha. Did you see how Roy kia flip flop his statement about being sacked?

          Looks like your standards of having integrity is like saying a gutter is polished and clean.

  • ASE

    Also, just a note about apologies. Exactly as explained in the link you provided, the principle about apologies not being admission is in the interest of mediation without having to go through a lengthy court process. In some cases, victims would be satisfied with an apology. By having a strict interpretation of an apology as an admission of fault, then nobody would ever apologise, and all disputes would go to court. I’m not sure what the position of the courts in Singapore is about this, but I do think it is a legitimate principle, and demonstrated to be sound by the experience of the circuits that uphold this principle.

    There is actually a rather solid body of law about termination due to misconduct outside of office duties, and in general, unless the misconduct interferes directly with your ability to perform your job (e.g. going to jail, or losing your driving license when you are employed as a driver), it has not stood up in court. But of course common law courts are much more protective of the individual when opposed to a corporation than here in Singapore.

    • Bee

      Roy’s “Defences
      Under the Defamation Act 2005, there are defences under the Act (ss25-33), common law defences, and defences available under other Acts (s24). The defences to defamation are as follows:

      truth (s25)
      contextual truth (ss25 and 26)
      absolute privilege (s27)
      qualified privilege (ss27, 28 and 30)
      honest opinion (s31)
      innocent dissemination (s32)
      triviality (s33)

      A person may suffer damage to their reputation, but may not win a defamation action if the defamer can rely on any of these defences.

      Truth:
      The defence of justification was previously known as the defence of truth. Section 25 states that if a defendant can prove that the defamatory imputations of which the plaintiff complains are substantially true, then the defence of justification is made out. An example would be where if a newspaper began referring to a person as ‘Cheesy Toes’, imputing that the person had infected feet, a defence would be that the person had infected feet.

      Contextual Truth:
      The contextual truth defence has two elements. First it requires that the context in which the defamatory imputations appeared contained other imputations that were substantially true. Secondly, the defamatory imputations do no further harm to the plaintiff’s reputation because of the substantial truth of the contextual imputations (s26)….

      Honest Opinion:
      Honest opinion requires three primary matters to be proved by the defendant:
      The matter was an expression of opinion of the defendant rather than a statement of fact; and
      The opinion related to a matter of public interest; and
      The opinion is based on proper material…”

      - http://www.hobartlegal.org.au/tasmanian-law-handbook/rights/defamation/defences

      • Samson

        Can a person suffer damage to his/her reputation if there is no truth but all lies from a common man on the street (albeit shouted thru a loud hailer)? Of course a person only suffers damage if there is truth.

        If this law applies, then we are saying that anyone charged by the police and found not guilty subsequently has all the more reason to sue the police and/or press (if high profile) for defamation.

        • SamsonPAP

          You have a strange definition of defamation. Not sure if there are any penal codes in the world that subscribe to your definition.

          Once again, an extremist in your own world.

          Or maybe just clutching at straws.

          • NoRealJustice

            Samson is clutching at straws, yet the choice to mask as SamsonPAP was yours. Could have gone with something less confusing for others, but no…

            When one is backed by endless dollars, there is no limit to what can be achieved – you, SamsonPAP, are confirmation that we (as in the the “we” who aren’t on the PAP’s payroll) aren’t clutching at straws after all. Rather, we’ve finally hit the right nerve!

          • SamsonPAP

            It’s cute to see how dissenters constantly saying how others who have done well must have been on PAP dollars just to make themselves feel better regarding their inadequate deficiencies.

            Cute.

          • NoRealJustice

            Oh stop, I’m blushing. You player, you!

  • Samson

    If Roy’s ‘extra curricular’ activities even using company time and resources have been to attack the WP, I can bet to my last cent he will never be fired, on the contrary, Roy will be ear marked for promotion!

    • Alan

      You seemed to have a lots of proof in hand on how corrupt our system is! Why don’t you do Singaporean a favor, expose it with all the names and characters, trash it out in court like your hero did! All the people include me will donate to support you as we will like to know how suck our system is!
      Don’t just hide behind the keyboard and pretend to be righteous. In this aspect Roy is more heroic then you per-se!

      • SamsonPAP

        I’ve quite about had enough of Samson’s ranting that Singapore’s government is corrupt. As you have stated – if he knows what and how, put it down. He will be greatly rewarded by the citizens. But he just rants about it over the computer.

        I’m quite fed up with it already with his constant rantings. If there is one thing I cannot stand in life it is unfounded allegations. He keep this nonsense up I will make a police report of his allegations and he can pour it all out at CPIB and actually do this country a great service, rather than kpkb on TOC.

        • nelsonmandala

          and YOU,JAWs go to cpib?
          woah! when did YOU get promoted to be the leadDOG?

          • SamsonPAP

            What’s JAWS?

          • NoRealJustice

            CPIB, police report, bla bla, bla, wank, wank, wank. There needs to be an end to your public masturbation, SamsonPAP! Seriously, if there’s one thing I can’t stand in life, it’s public masturbators like you!

            Do us a favour, it’s easy.. if you can’t stand it. Read the article and move on. No one is encouraging you to provide your “public service” / jizzing on Samson and the like.

    • SamsonPAP

      Who exactly are the corrupt people?

  • liangjwc1

    Hospitals only need to notify MOH on some communicable diseases, not when dismissing an ordinary contract employee.
    How could it happened in this case that MOH is notified in advance?

    • Alan

      Yah! just becos it involved Roy and we suddenly have all the expert on protocol decided to come out to advise the public! Please! I think you can do better than just speculating on how the reporting system goes.

      • liangjwc1

        You no brainer can jump to conclusion I am only speculating and not knowing?

        • Alan

          Oh! So we have a protocol expert here! Can’t trust u though becos the net is full of deceiving people around. Too bad!

          • liangjwc1

            I know don’t mean I am protocol expert right?
            Full of deceiving people like you is just too bad.

          • nelsonmandala

            and YOU alan are the xpert perhaps? YOU worked partime with the min of manpower jumbuan attendant perhaps?

          • Alan

            No i’m not. That’s why i did not claim to know this and that. Only expert suddenly know the protocol of how inter dept reporting to each other. I can claim I know a lot too but i don’t like the art of deceiving.
            By the way, we are talking of MOH, not MOM.

  • J

    Isn’t it a bit too obvious to sack him at this sensitive time? Plus just making me feel like these are rules make to protect the government, then how about the citizens? The government is backed by the citizens’ money, then how about the citizens? Actually I think that many people are actually very supportive of Roy’s actions, but afraid that they may ended up like him, thus show it all out during election.

  • SamsonPAP

    If I post reasonably – will TOC delete this account? If it does, is it hypocrisy in silencing me the way TOC and its readers criticize the government for trying to “silence” Roy?

    TOC – this is your test. Remember, at the end of the day, you are still relying on traffic as this is now a business and all businesses need revenue and profit. By shutting people like me out, it is akin to shutting out potential revenue, because I represent traffic which will engage more readers.

    Decide responsibly (better leave out that national lampoon Terry out of the decision making process he has a penchant for whining like a baby).

    Your readers are judging you. And oh, you have far wider readers than opposition supporters who log in and comment regularly. The silent readers. Those who will click on ads. Those who represent the revenue source.

    They are all judging you the Directors (and that national lampoon Terry).

    By the way, this isn’t a personal attack on Terry. This is my freedom of speech the same way Roy Ngerng and many others claim their right to freedom of speech by attacking PAP and the Lee Family mercilessly.

    Take it as good as you give it. Otherwise TOC is forever a juvenile website run by a bunch of young adults who cannot handle real world business matters.

    • NoRealJustice

      “Thanks” for your life wisdom and appreciate you sharing your multiple screens story. I feel so enriched. Off to my high paying work!

  • SamsonPAP

    Hey author Leong Sze Hian – Roy has already admitted to defaming PM Lee (albeit grudgingly), and apologized unreservedly (albeit grudgingly).

    The court hearing is to determine the damaged awarded and not to determine WHETHER Roy has defamed PM Lee la.

    Wah lah want to write something, want to talk something at HongLim, have some standard la. I see your list of achievement I feel sorry for you now – because just to make PAP look bad you’ll accept mediocre and substandard benchmarks for yourself (ie pulling shit out of your arse).

    Buck up la. Being late 50s mean you can talk rubbish and allow people to look down on you la.

    • Arnold_Chong

      Jaws,

      Why are you posting comments during office hours?

      What about your $150K brokering job?

      Don’t you have to attend to calls from your HNW clients?

      Seems like you are misusing company time to pursue personal interests?

      • SamsonPAP

        What’s JAWS??

        Second time today I’ve had this question.

        Odd. Oppies tend to ask the same questions. They behave like the zombie apocalypse all lurching irregularly to the same momentum.

        (ok lah spare you lah – it’s interesting, right? Why I have down-time at work. But then again, sometimes when I am at work at irregular hours, everyone else is relaxing. Remember this – high risk high irregular wrok = high paying work. Fixed hours predictable work = ordinary paying work. In life, you have to do more and do something different if you want to be better rewarded. Don’t settle to be an average in life. Be extraordinary.)

      • SamsonPAP

        Although I must admit that actually having 3 screens is a distraction.

        My MacBook has an active (live) spreadsheet full of colors and highlighted rows.

        My iPhone screen is perpetually on looking at my texts because I always have texts coming and and texts carry information and information is money.

        My iPad has TOC on.

        My visual is dominated by the colored rows on my MacBook watching the live data, but I glance left and right at my 2 other screens. Sometimes I almost TRANSFERRED the wrong information to the wrong screen.

        ZOMG

        THAT’LL REALLY BE THE LAST OF SAMSONPAP IF THAT EVER HAPPENS.

  • Samson

    Wow, I sure am popular. Feeling hot, hot, hot….

    • SamsonPAP

      Twinnie!!!

      • GUSSIE91

        is this fake or fact………?

        • Samson

          Some facts are stranger than fiction indeed but PAPpy logic says because it is strange, it is not a fact.

        • SamsonPAP

          I actually can’t decide if Samson or Arnold Chong, whether which is the more annoying and bigger Oppie.

          Both so far rank as equal in irritation and annoyance for me in TOC. So far, no clear winner.

          Samson has plain brute insistence and persistence. Arnold Chong has tendencies to drift off and claim smearing stuff. Both are neck to neck, no clear winner for Oppie of the Year award.

          • GUSSIE91

            do you have the right to decide…………? definitely not me.
            I would prefer seeing TOC has a smooth flow of postings/comments forum.
            Some postings you may like it and some you do not.
            Lets the members give ^ or v.

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