Whampoa condo incident: Resident apologises to security officer in person

The incident in question at Eight Riversuites condominium on 26 October 2019. PHOTO: Screenshot from YouTube
The incident in question at Eight Riversuites condominium on 26 October 2019. PHOTO: Screenshot from YouTube

SINGAPORE — The resident at the centre of a controversial incident at a condominium in Whampoa area on Wednesday apologised to the security officer for verbally abusing him.

In a statement on the Security Association of Singapore’s (SAS) Facebook page, SAS President Raj Joshua Thomas said he met the resident Erramalli Ramesh and security officer Steven Heng together with Gary, the Honorary Secretary of the Association of Certified Security Agencies for a chat at Eight Riversuites condominium.

“During our meeting, Ramesh apologised to Steven for what had happened. His apology was heartfelt and sincere. Steven was gracious in accepting the apology and emphasising to Ramesh that he had not then, nor now, held any hard feelings regarding the incident,” Thomas said.

Steven said he hoped that Ramesh and his family had remained safe during this trying time.

During the chat, Thomas said he realised that Steven and Ramesh had met and interacted with each other many times and spoken amicably.

Ramesh said that the person in the video is not “reflective of who he really is” and Thomas said he believed him after the meeting.

“All of us have lost our temper and said something we regretted at some time or other, later realising that we could have done better. What is important is that we make amends when we are wrong. Ramesh has done this - sincerely and honestly

“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 Steven and Ramesh, deserve to live in our own country without fear or abuse – online or offline,” Thomas said.

The incident took place on Saturday in which Ramesh was caught on camera hurling vulgarities at Steven.

In a video, which quickly went viral, he quarrels with security officers after they tell him that his guests, who arrive in a car at Eight Riversuites condominium, have to pay a parking fee.

“I buy the f**king property for $1.5 million, you know...Tell the management f**k off...We are not staying in an HDB,” Ramesh shouts at Steven, telling him that his guests are visiting him for Deepavali. The security officers can be heard trying to calm down the resident and telling him that they are enforcing the rules.

The likes of labour MP Zainal Sapari and the Union of Security Employees and the Security Association Singapore have weighed in on the incident, urging for more protection to be given to security officers.

Even Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam also commented on Sunday, calling the resident’s behaviour an example of “a sense of entitlement”.

Financial services company JP Morgan, Ramesh’s employer, issued a memo to its staff over the incident on Tuesday morning (29 October), which was seen by Yahoo News Singapore.

JP Morgan said in the memo, ”All of us who work for JP Morgan are expected to demonstrate the highest standards, including respect and dignity for others, in our behaviour and actions inside and outside of the workplace.”

In a media statement issued last weekend, the company said, “We are aware of the video and are looking into it. We won’t be making further comment at this time.”

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