Facebook page SLM Vxxxxxcare Singapore recently posted on how the constant bullying and insults from a local Singapore company led a 20-year-old girl from Penang to take her own life.
The Facebook page SLM Vxxxxxcare Singapore was created by a group of ex-staff of this company who has suffered and have been bullied by their boss.
Here is the full story.
Warning, the following transcript includes reference to su*c*de.The following sensitive information has been included with the express permission of the family of the deceased.-
The late Catrene Khoo would have turned 21 years old today, she was from Penang, Malaysia residing in Muar. She came from a humble family and travelled to Singapore in the hope to fulfill her dream of becoming a doctor and to help children. This is her sad story.She was employed by SLM Visioncare Singapore the position of Therapist on 1st August 2019, she was 19 years old.
She was employed here for 4 months 13 days employment with the company.During her time of employment, she faced constant bullying and insults by the director, Darren Yaw. She suffered from severe stress and depression from pressure to achieve unrealistic sales targets and the urgency to obtain her driving licence while facing aggressive treatment and harassment.
As per company policy, on 21st September 2019 Catrene applied leave for advance leave on 13th – 18th December 2019, to attend a family wedding in Penang. Due to travel arrangement she indicated her date of returning to work would be on 19th December 2019 (Remember this date). This leave was approved.
In October 2019, one of Catrene’s relatives passed away and she applied for unpaid and emergency leave and returned to Penang, this was approved by Darren Yaw’s wife.
On her journey back home to Penang she was bombarded by text messages and calls from Darren Yaw. Despite having approved leave, he now demanded that she return back to Singapore immediately while claiming that his wife’s approval not acceptable (she is the Admin and Human Resource Manager). As a result of this, upon reaching home and paying respects to her relative she returned straight back to Singapore the following day. This greatly upset Catrene’s family and her father called Darren Yaw to confront him on his behaviour. Catrene was further reprimanded upon return and criticized for applying for emergency leave on short notice. In November, regarding the earlier leave applied to attend a family wedding, Darren Yaw now amended her leave to 14th to 17th December 2019. She was denied the additional two days of leave as she had not met the expected sales targets. Catrene reluctantly agreed to this.
While working at SLM, Catrene was accused of sleeping on the job which she vehemently denied. Management found her sleeping in the office during working hours, however she was actually resting before the late shift and was not scheduled to work at the time. Management was unaware of her working schedule and made this conclusion incorrectly. They would ignore her explanation despite being fully aware of the working schedule which was distributed on a weekly basis. This brought great stress to Catrene as she was unable to prove her innocence to management.
On 11 December 2019, Catrene was preparing to shortly take her leave in a couple of day’s time and attend the afore mentioned family wedding, on this day SLM Visioncare Singapore prepared a termination of employment letter.On the evening of 13th December, Catrene was rushing for the last bus back to Penang when she was held back at the centre by Darren Yaw and HR personnel for an impromptu meeting.
Darren Yaw criticized Catrene for not achieving the expected sales targets while comparing her performance to newer members of staff. He questioned why she was on medical leave so often and queried how much sleep she got and what time she went to bed. He also complained that she did not yet obtain her driving license in Singapore.
Catrene was anxious to leave to ensure she caught her bus, Darren Yaw repeated highlighted that as she had not met her sales target that she should consider not taking her approved leave. Under this pressure, she reluctantly agreed to cancel her leave. Upon agreeing to this, she was immediately served a letter of termination. This letter stated that she would not receive full salary and she informed that due to tax clearance she would be required to compensate over a thousand dollar to IRAS and her employer. Darren then confessed that he needed to terminate her so that the company could have a slot for a new staff as the company had no available quota. She was also told to return her work permit as soon as possible so that the employer could have a slot for available quota.
Catrene was distraught at this sudden turn of events and following the long late meeting she missed her last bus home and was left to wait til the morning to return home to Penang. In the following days on 14th- 17th December she was harassed 24/7 by her employer to return the work permit, on the 18th she travelled back to Singapore where she was made to wait before she could return the permit. After this she travelled back to her home in Muar, Johor in Malaysia.
On the 19th December 2019, Catrene took her own life at home. She wrote her last letters to family mentioning the great burden from the sudden loss of income, abuse at work, false accusations at work and being told to compensate for the tax clearance. She could not cope with the stress and depression and gave up shortly a month after her 20th birthday. She is survived by her parents and younger brother.
All audios recorded by her, last letters and documents have been submitted upon MOM’s requests. We will cooperate with the authorities in providing every evidence we have gathered. We just want to seek justice for those responsible so that the family can have a closure and Catrene to rest in peace.