Chinese-Muslim lady gets job application rejected for ‘inconvenience’ of Halal food

A screenshot of conversation between an employer and an interested job applicant has set social media on fire with the past few days, in which Muslim-Chinese mother Heidi Heng was rejected on grounds that she was not able to consume pork. 

Heng expressed her disgust and disappointment with something that non-Chinese job searchers in Singapore are all too familiar with — employers are mainly looking for Chinese-speaking candidates, and apparently those don’t have dietary restrictions as well. Despite being of Chinese descent herself, Heng then was told that it would be “inconvenient” to cater to her religious requirements of Halal food, especially during company events. Flabbergasted by the outright prejudice, she posted her conversation with the employer on Facebook — and boy has it gone viral. 

Fiery comments barraged her post, with most in support of her — while many others point out that the preference for Chinese employees have always been the status quo in Singapore (which is pretty depressing). Some however remark that the company in contentious subject have done nothing wrong as they were simply being open about the company’s background. 

Heng confirmed to Coconuts Singapore that she has lodged reports with the police, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), as well as the Tripartite Alliance for Fair Employment (TAFEP) about the alleged discrimination. 

Not everything is as it seems however. When FiveStarsAndAMoon visited the offices of Light Art Studio Pte Ltd — the company involved in the scandal — the furious director flat out denied sending out the messages to Heng, and mentioned that they weren’t even hiring. Huh.

He claims that ever since his company was named in the incident, he has been receiving at the receiving end of anonymous calls, threats, pranks and some of his customers have even cancelled their orders with him. A police report has even been filed, alleging that someone out there is impersonating Light Art Studio. 

On Heng’s end, she mentioned that the MOM and TAFEP are currently working with both sides, preferring to settle the matter privately to avoid further misunderstanding on social media. 

So who’s telling the truth? 

Photo: Heidi Heng Facebook page

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