Man apologises for slapping co-worker in viral video taken by SIM student

[UPDATE on Monday, 20 May at 9.30pm: Added details of supervisor's apology. The original video clip (and its duplicates) has been taken down by YouTube due to violations of its policy on disturbing content. A copy of the clip was also uploaded by The Real Singapore to its Facebook page here.]

The man who was filmed slapping his co-worker in a Singapore office has come out to apologise to the victim's parents. 

However, Chinese daily Shin Min Daily News reported that the parents of the victim -- now identified by Shin Min as a 29-year-old intern -- have rejected the apology.

The supervisor, known as Alan, apologised after the intern's parents showed up at the office, demanding an explanation after their nephew showed them the clip, which was uploaded on Friday evening  and has since gone viral. Alan said he had slapped his colleague in a fit of anger. 

The intern's parents also told the paper that their son seemed to be under a lot of stress, and it was likely brought on by his job at the local company. He no longer works at the company, where he is said to be paid a monthly allowance of between $500 and $600.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) also said in a statement on Monday that the victim has filed a police report.

The video has since gone viral since it was uploaded over the weekend.

Filmed by SIM intern

The university undergraduate who uploaded the clip is an intern from Singapore Institute of Management (SIM). In electronic correspondence with Yahoo! Singapore, the 23-year-old first-year student said on Monday that he has sent an e-mail to the Ministry of Manpower, and has also filed a report with the company's human resources department.

He also confirmed that he had just started a three-and-a-half month internship at the company. It is due to end in August, but SIM has said that they have terminated his internship, in light of the incident.

In posts on the Hardware Zone forum thread he started over the weekend, he said that he had also approached his school's internship co-ordinator, but was told to continue working there while she spoke to the company's HR department. She informed him that the company has a long-standing relationship with his school and previous interns had never surfaced any problems.

"(The internship coordinator) was just doing her job, and was trying not to make any rash decisions," he explained. "I wanted to head down to SIM to show her the footage and give her a better understanding of what was happening in that office. But I was really disappointed when she brushed me aside, saying that she will talk to the manager first. I felt that my school didn't take me seriously."

He said he was hesitant to reveal the name of the company he was interning at because there were only four people working there -- a manager, his supervisor (the alleged abuser seen in the video), his co-worker (the victim) and himself.

Video went viral

The 17-second clip he uploaded under the username Shane M on YouTube late on Friday night shows a man standing over a younger man and hitting him repeatedly on the head. This is accompanied by verbal abuse. A third man, wearing a blue T-shirt and jeans, walks up to the first man to try to stop him. Then, the video cuts to a different scene where the first man is seen slapping the 'victim' repeatedly on the face.

In the first entry he posted on the Hardware Zone thread, he said his supervisor (the alleged abuser) was "constantly bullying" his colleague, and the abuse which the latter received was "often physical". He wrote that the victim is shy and so, does not want to take action, and "there doesn't (seem to be) anyone in the workplace that will do anything about this". He added that when he approached his colleague about the treatment the latter received, his colleague said he felt that he himself was in the wrong and that their boss was merely "correcting" him.

"The hitting and yelling stopped when I confronted him but this kind of behaviour has most likely been going on even before I joined, and will again continue after I leave," he wrote, adding that he felt that his supervisor's explanation for the abuse was insincere.

"He brought me into a meeting room and… said that my colleague apparently has an inferiority complex and apparently my supervisor is trying to 'nurture' him to get over it," he shared. "However, my co-worker is very timid and seems like the kind of guy that will not stand up for himself."

In subsequent posts, the undergraduate shared that he witnessed the alleged abuse over his first two days of his internship, and used his phone to record it on his third.

Within the first 24 hours since it was uploaded, the clip garnered more than 80,000 views and was picked up by several local websites before it, and other duplicates uploaded to YouTube, were taken down for violating the video streaming site's policies on violent and disturbing content.

- Additional reporting by Justin Ong

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more 17 hours ago
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future 19 hours ago
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does.

  • 919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day 20 hours ago
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world.

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading →

  • Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers
    Singaporeans slam NEA's $120 licence requirement for tissue sellers

    Singaporeans on social media reacted angrily to news that tissue sellers at hawker centres and street corners are being required to pay for an annual licence.

  • Arrest warrant sought for S. Korea ferry captain
    Arrest warrant sought for S. Korea ferry captain

    South Korean prosecutors sought arrest warrants Friday for the captain and two crew members of the ferry that capsized two days before with hundreds of children on board, a coastguard official said. The captain and most of his 28 crew managed to escape the ferry, and have been criticised for abandoning the ship when so many were still trapped on board. Tracking data from the Maritime Ministry showed the ferry made a sharp turn just before sending its first distress signal on Wednesday morning. Prosecutors said Friday that preliminary investigations showed that captain Lee Joon-Seok had handed the helm to his third officer before the ferry capsized.

Featured Blogs

  • COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more
    COMMENT: Xenophobia rears its ugly head in Singapore once more

    Kirsten Han is a Singaporean blogger, journalist and filmmaker. She is also involved in the We Believe in Second Chances campaign for the abolishment of the death penalty. A social media junkie, she tweets at @kixes. The views expressed are … Continue reading → …

  • Alex Lloyd
    Driving a $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder to the future

    It’s more than just its inherent speed, or the whooshing noise that fills the cabin like a school choir jamming with James Hetfield. It’s what it represents in an industry full of skeptics. It’s a portal into the future – a time capsule left by some mad scientist born decades too soon. It’s something that shouldn’t exist. And yet it does. …

  • Alex Lloyd
    919 reasons to love: Flickr photo of the day

    We've brought you the drive video of the $900,000 Porsche 918 Spyder -- an 887-hp hybrid supercar with two electric motors working in harmony with a big 4.6-liter V-8. But how about this? Porsche's hybrid Le Mans racer -- the 919 Hybrid, sent to us by Kevin Leech. Get on board with electrification, folks. Because it's taking over the world. …

  • Alex Lloyd
    Watch a man drive his three-wheeled Mustang along a Texas highway

    Some things in life are hard to explain, like why a dentist insists on asking you questions when you clearly can't respond. Or why we call pants "a pair" even though it's just one. Or how about this puzzler: Why a person would drive their Mustang along a Texas highway despite it missing a wheel? Life is full of little mysteries, I guess. …

  • Aki Sugawara
    How a mom stole a car in under 60 seconds

    “I didn't steal your car but I think my mom may have. It's a long story. I'll explain, but your car is safe and sound," read the flier posted in Red Hook, Brooklyn. It’s a strange tale that began when Cheyrl Thorpe was asked by her daughter Nekisia Davis to dog sit her Pomeranian at her apartment, according to New York Magazine. …