Singaporean business in ‘first Pokemon Go-related sacking’
Author: PM editorial | Date: 20 Jul 2016
Australian expat’s expletive-filled rant means he will have plenty of time to ‘catch ’em all’
An Australian has been sacked by his employer after he took to Facebook to strongly criticise Singapore and its population – because he couldn’t download Pokemon Go.
The recently released game by Nintendo has taken the world by storm and even caused some organisations to warn staff that they should not be playing the game at work.
However, the wait for a Singaporean release date proved too much for marketing executive Sonny Truyen, who had only been hired a week earlier by real estate startup 99.co.
His Facebook rants were picked up by a large number of Singporeans who took offence at his comments that he had found work because of a “lack of local talent” and that Singapore was “full of stupid people.”
Several users reported him to his employer for his comments, which prompted Darius Cheng, chief executive of 99.co, to issue an apology through the company’s blog and fire Truyen.
“I apologise on behalf of 99.co, we pride ourselves on being a principled company that celebrates values like diversity and equality,” said Cheng. “We take responsibility for the public behaviour of any employee or consultant affiliated with us as a reflection of the company.
“We are a proud Singaporean company and do not condone such language or behaviour, hence we have since terminated his engagement once the incident came to light.”
It is not the first time inappropriate use of social media has got someone in trouble with their employer. In 2013, communications director Justine Sacco sent what she perceived to be a joke about Aids in Africa as she was waiting for her plane to take off. By the time she landed, her tweet had gone viral, sparking outrage all round the world and ending in her dismissal.
Truyen’s sacking has been the subject of much debate online, with some wondering whether a series of Facebook posts sent in the space of a few minutes warranted such a level of opprobrium.
His tactless comments in a public forum have cost him not only this job but potential future employment too, as many organisations are likely to Google job applicants.