A lady by the name of Sarah Carmariah posted on her Facebook account yesterday about her job interview experience on Monday with a "well-known" halal bakery for the position of a cake decorator. In the post, she noted the racial discrimination that she experienced from the head of department.
According to Sarah, things went well with the Human Resources. The HR personnel was keen to move things forward after reading her portfolio and made phone calls to coordinate a last minute meeting with the head of the baking department for the interview.
However, things were not as pleasant with the head of department.
Halfway through the interview, he said to Sarah, "From what I see, and the way you look, and not trying to be racist ah, but you Malay, I think you cannot la"
Sarah wrote in her post, "I was stunned and I just froze. I felt my ears getting a little hot, but I didn't want to lose my cool. I was taken aback and didn't quite know how to respond anyway. I just kept quiet because I was shocked."
He continued, "You know ah, Malays ah they over promise, promise I can do this I can do that, in the end, cannot make it, after 2 days disappear." which Sarah answered, "Sir, I haven't promised you anything. I think you should give me a chance"
Despite being humilated by the discriminatory statement made by the head of department, Sarah stayed on to give a demonstration of her skills. However, the head of department still did not have interest in the interview and made fun of her during the process. It was then, Sarah decided to grab her stuff and leave the interview.
Sarah noted that she has no intention of naming or shaming this organisation and its people, but would like to highlight that racial discrimination in the job market is more real than people think.
"I’m making a stand and sharing my story because I believe in equal rights and equal opportunity for everyone. How can anyone judge another based on general racial stereotypes? In Singapore, of all places, a supposedly racially harmonious and fair country? Particularly in my case, what I thought was ironic as hell, was that this company actually prides itself on catering to the Muslim community."
Sarah asks, "Are we going to start making this right or are we going to sweep it under the rug and just suck it up as "the way things are?""
She added, "The point I’m trying to make is that nobody wants to be generalised or defined by racial stereotypes. Racial profiling is unfair and unjust. We are more than our skin. We are actions. We are people. We are human beings with original thought and different experiences that have shaped us to become unique individuals with so much potential to offer society and the world. And yet I find myself, for the first time, discriminated against and not given a real chance for something I'm confident at, for something that I know sets me apart. Nobody should ever be told that they can’t do something based on the colour of their skin, but the sad reality is that this is real, and this is really happening."
She ended by saying that she will boycott the company and wonder it maintains its minimum Muslim employment quota.
Sarah's post about her interview experience went viral with many calling for the company to be named and for the boycott of this company. At the time of publication, the post has been shared over 3.5 thousand times.
A day after her post went viral, Prima Deli confessed on its social media platform that it is the company that Sarah was referring to and said that its staff member has made discriminatory remarks to a potential candidate during a job interview. The company also added that it has since made personal contact to offer their sincere apologies.
It wrote, "We would also like to apologise to the wider community with regards to the circumstances. We take a very serious view and have zero tolerance for such behaviour hence, serious disciplinary action has been imposed on the said employee after an immediate investigation was conducted."
Not long after, the company posted another update to indicate that the said staff member has been terminated from his employment.