The resident who was part of the recent viral video had offered his apology “many times” to the senior security supervisor in a private meeting on Wednesday (30 October), said Gary Haris, the Honorary Secretary of the Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA) in a Facebook post.
Mr Haris revealed that Ramesh Erramalli met with the security supervisor Steven Heng Woo Wee, along with Security Association of Singapore (SAS) President Raj Joshua Thomas at the Eight Riversuites condominium for a chat.
“(Mr Erramalli) was very remorseful and he apologised to (Mr Heng) many times during the long-long meeting,” Mr Haris said.
In the video posted on Saturday morning (26 October), a man in sleeveless shirt and shorts were seen yelling and swearing at the top of his voice after being told by the senior security officer that he needed to pay parking fees for guests visiting the condo. The man, who is a resident of the Eight Riversuites condominium in Bendermeer, told the security officers that he had bought his apartment for S$1.5 million, and began swearing at the officer.
Once the video went viral, the ill-tempered man was identified as Mr Ramesh Erramalli, a foreign talent from India who works at global financial services company J.P. Morgan in Singapore.
In ACSA’s post, Mr Haris noted that Mr Erramalli fondly addresses Mr Heng as “Uncle Steven” and had conversations with him previously while he was patrolling the estate.
“(Mr Erramalli) acknowledged (Mr Heng) was a very humble and good Security Supervisor and he did not mean to hurt or harm him in any way,” Mr Haris explained.
He continued, “He was worked up over the MCST Rule of collecting $10 parking fees for the overnight parking.”
If that’s not all, Mr Heng also mentioned that he had met the Indian national before while patrolling around the estate, and Mr Erramalli “would stop by to have a friendly chat with him”.
“(Mr Heng) also acknowledged that (Mr Erramalli) was a friendly and approachable resident and always addressed him as Uncle Steven. He had forgiven (Mr Erramalli) wholeheartedly and thanked him for coming personally to apologise to him,” Mr Haris explained.
He also noted that the senior security supervisor urges everyone to forgive the resident and put this whole incident behind them.
“We also hope MCSTs and Managing Agents will do more to create awareness of the estate rules and by-laws of the estate so that frontline security personnel are not put in a difficult position of enforcing the rules that the residents might not be aware of, thus creating such unfortunate situations,” Mr Haris said.
Separately, Mr Thomas also took to his Facebook on Wednesday to talk about the private meeting. The SAS President said that he felt Mr Erramalli’s apology was “heartfelt and sincere”.
“(Mr Erramalli) said that the person in the video is not reflective of who he really is. Having met him this evening, I believe him. All of us have lost our temper and said something we regretted at some time or other, later realizing that we could have done better. What is important is that we make amends when we are wrong. (Mr Erramalli) has done this – sincerely and honestly,” Mr Thomas wrote.
He added, “As a society, we band quickly together when we see something that we feel is unjust. This is what makes us strong. But we should not do so to destroy people or their lives. Singaporeans, like both (Mr Erramalli) and (Mr Heng), deserves to live in our own country without fear or abuse – online or offline.”
What happened previously
After the video went viral, netizens began digging out the Indian national’s background and revealed his condo unit and mobile number, as well as his alleged pay and education history. Many of them condemned his behaviour, while others called for his company, JP Morgan, to sack him. Petition urging for the company to do so has gathered more than 26,000 signatures.
A police report was also made on Tuesday (29 October) on alleged doxxing of Mr Erramalli after his personal details went public. While the police did not reveal who lodged the report, the Straits Times reported that the report against harassment was lodged by the man in the video itself.
In regards to this incident, JP Morgan sent an internal email memo on Tuesday reminding its Singapore-based staff to uphold a “culture of respect” in their daily conduct. The memo was sent by Edmund Lee, the senior officer of the multinational investment bank’s Singapore office.
Besides that, ACSA had also previously issued a public statement to condemn the untoward behaviour of the man towards the senior security supervisor and applauds the calm, composed and professional conduct exhibited by the officer during the tense-off. It is said that the association does not tolerate the abuse of security officers whilst they are discharging their duties. In a statement on Sunday (27 Oct), the Union of Security Employees said that it is working with the police on the case, and that it has been handing out notices about respecting security officers who are performing their duties.
Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also took to his Facebook on Sunday to support the security officer and noted that what the resident did was wrong “at so many levels”.