‘Malays are all the same,’ supervisor tells employee on medical leave

At left, screenshot of a purported conversation between a man and his supervisor. Online translation of the message from Mandarin, at right. Photos: Qayywm/Twitter
At left, screenshot of a purported conversation between a man and his supervisor. Online translation of the message from Mandarin, at right. Photos: Qayywm/Twitter

Forget expressions of sympathy, this ailing employee instead got a racist diss from his manager after submitting his medical slip.

Abdul Qayyuum Bin Abdul Rahim yesterday posted a text conversation with his supervisor that showed the latter responding in Mandarin that “Malays are all the same” to a photo of his doctor’s letter to call in sick. Abdul Qayyuum took the reply to allude to the stereotype that Malays are lazy and therefore prone to seeking medical leave.

“This was the text from my Supervisor when [I sent] him a copy of my MC. Racism needs to stop. #SayNoToRacism,” he wrote. The post blew up overnight with over 11,000 retweets.

According to an admin of the Wake Up, Singapore community, Abdul Qayyuum identified his employer as lift contractor 9G Elevator. Abdul Qayyuum did not respond to messages seeking comment as of publication time.

The medical certificate, dated yesterday from the National University Polyclinics at Pioneer, stated that he had an “acute respiratory illness” and therefore “unfit for duty” for three days ending tomorrow. 

Hours prior to his viral post, Abdul Qayyuum tweeted: “Work is fun, just that my supervisor is an asshole.”

People mostly reacted with anger while some offered the much-needed sympathy he did not receive. 

“[A]h, the classic ‘[I] don’t have the balls to speak racism in english or your language so i’m gonna hide behind mine,’” Novalistic wrote.

“Rude of him to send you a message in Chinese, and the message itself isn’t any better. As a Chinese Singaporean, I am sorry this happened to you,” Hermioneeowynp wrote.

After this story was published, 9G Elevator told Coconuts that it was investigating the matter and rejects workplace racism.

“We are aware of the post and working to gather more information and investigate the incident as quickly as possible. There is no place for racist or discriminatory behavior of any kind at 9G or any workplace. We continually work to ensure that all our employees feel welcome, safe, and heard,” a company statement read.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a statement from 9G Elevator.

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