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Singpost delivery man dismissed for throwing mail into rubbish bins

A SingPost postman has been dismissed by SingPost after it was revealed that he had thrown mails into the rubbish bin.

This was said by a SingPost spokesperson in response to media queries of a viral social media post which had a series of videos showing stacks of letters being thrown into rubbish bins and a postman confessing to his acts in a confrontation by a member of public.

The company confirmed the incident had happened at a condominium on Wednesday and said it did not condone the incident.

“We do not condone this and he has since been dismissed," said the spokesperson. "SingPost thanks the member of the public for bringing this to our attention, and we would like to apologise to the residents of the estate for the service lapse."

"We have since retrieved the mail and will be processing them.”

Postman admits on video that he threw away the mail

In the viral social media post that has been deleted,  a member of public who likely a paying customer of Singpost confronts the postman in Mandarin, asking the postman to confess whether or not he made the deliveries.

Below is a part of the conversation in the video translated from Mandarin to English 

Customer: ...Be a bit more cooperative and be a bit more honest. A lie, If you lied, just admit it.  If someone asked you to distribute, and you put it somewhere else, just be honest and admit it. If don’t admit, I will dig them out one by one. Now the whole of SingPost knows my problem. I won’t let this matter go to rest. I want to find my paper, where exactly it is.  To you, it is just a piece of paper of no significance. To me, it is very important to me. You come to Singapore to work, we welcome you. But don’t make the standards degrade till so bad. Just because of one person, SingPost's reputation is in ruins. Do you understand?

Postman: This I also know, maybe if I told you, you wouldn't believe. But I come from China, and I talk about a practical problem. Not that we willingly throw or being irresponsible.I have over 2,600 over mail. Everyday, including registered mail, you look at the offices and condominiums, (those given to) Malay staff are very few, it is really unfair to me. Originally, I was going to see the doctor today because my ankle hurts, which is why I..."

Claims by postman that he was being overburdened with work

Other than admitting to throwing the mail away, the postman also explained to the customer that the reason for his actions is because he was tired and treated unfairly.

He said he had intended to go to a doctor for his hurting ankle but he was told to do overtime by his boss. He shared that he was given to give out 2,600 letters that day and was told to do overtime, noting that the Malay staff are not given as much mail as his.

He also noted that he was paid $120 a day with no overtime pay.

The postman, who said he is a Chinese national, said that he will be returning to China on Friday. He commented that he might have considered coming back to Singapore but has decided not to, given that this matter is being brought to light.

Offence to throw away mail

It would seem to a layman that the dismissed postman committed an offence under the Postal Service Act, section 34 (1) Any officer, employee or agent of a postal licensee who — (a) destroys or throws away any postal article or anything contained therein.

Such an offence is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 years or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $1,000 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.

It is unknown if the postman has gone back to China as mentioned in the video and whether is there any intention file charges for the offence.

Story not a surprise for members of public

Commenting on Channel News Asia's Facebook, See Han Xiang wrote:" can't believe it is still the same after so many years... Encountered the same incident 7 years ago, wrote to ST forum and it got published. Singpost sent some PR person to assure us that they take action so that it won't happen again. Guess nothing changed after all."

Another commenter, Jacqueline Tan wrote: This is only one of the many incidents that involved singpost postman. Encountered a few times registered mail postman did not even bother to ring my bell & just leave the collection note in my mailbox. Did feedback to singpost but the situation doesn’t seem to improve.

Johnny Liew wrote: "Sing Post so quickly buried this incident by dismissing the staff but never find the root cause like the staff said was too tired and OT don’t receive pay and etc. Really good management"