For Singapore Airlines, Slapping Their Stewardesses Is A Private Matter! Can We Really Slap Them?

I read this on the Majulah Singapura blog and am quite shocked because SIA did not take any action and Mr Wong is quite a respected businessman in Singapore.
As an iconic company of Singapore, regardless of whose fault, it’s unbelievable to me that SIA did not do anything about this case of air rage. From TODAY :

SINGAPORE: A Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight attendant is taking the wife of one of Singapore’s richest men, Mr Wong Ngit Liong, to court for allegedly slapping her on a flight from Singapore to Tokyo last year.

Madam Tan Siew Hoon, the wife of Venture Corp chairman and chief executive Mr Wong, 65, is alleged to have struck Ms Then Jiamin on the cheek sometime during that flight on Sept 20, after she saw her speaking to Mr Wong.

The SIA flight attendant was serving passengers in business class, including the Wongs.

According to the writ of summons — which was served on Mdm Tan at her home last Monday evening — immediately after striking the stewardess, Mdm Tan had said loudly: “Why are you talking to my husband!”

Ms Then, 25, is suing for “general damages and damages for consequential loss and emotional and mental distress” she suffered as a result of the “wrongful assault and battery”. She is also claiming damages for defamation.

When contacted, an SIA spokesperson said that this was a personal matter and the airline did not wish to comment.

TODAY understands that after the flight touched down at Narita International Airport, the Wongs did not get on the subsequent connecting flight bound for Los Angeles.

Ms Then is also understood to have missed that flight. She stayed on in Tokyo to see a doctor and lodge a police report.

Upon returning to Singapore, she filed another police report. The flight attendant, who has been with SIA for two years, also took a few days off work to rest.

TODAY understands that Ms Then had approached her lawyers in October and decided to take the matter to court after her requests for compensation and a statement of apology were not acceded to.

Ms Then’s lawyers have until next Monday to file a statement of claims, which would include the sum she is seeking, with the subordinate courts. The defence would then have to submit their case within 14 days.

It is understood that Mdm Tan’s lawyers have responded to the writ. Mr Wong did not respond to TODAY’s queries by press time.

Comments by Majulah Singapura blog :

This may be a bit of an old news but the issue had never really been explored by ordinary singaporeans. In the last couple of decades, you have probably heard the term cosmopolitan vs heartlanders, the white horses, elites, etc. You have probably heard of income inequality between the rich and poor.

So this case aptly described, if the rich slaps a poor girl who is performing her job, is that a PRIVATE issue? This probably opens the floodgates for people who are unhappy with a stewardess work to slap them and then treat it as a private issue. Don’t tell me they would do a double standard and charge you for criminal assault and let one of the richest wife in Singapore go scot free as it is a private issue?

Mr Wong sits on one of Singapore Airlines subsidiaries. Does that mean as a boss’s wife, she could slap an employee? Where is justice? I believe you should forward this post to as many friends as possible and to pressure Singapore Airlines into taking action.

Anyways apologies this post is atypical of a highway of life blog entry unless of course we consider that air rage is something that happens along the highway of life? It’s just SIA’s inaction that really got to me and I was even contemplating putting this up on CNET Asia.



Filed under Corruption, Life, News, Notes to You, Stories, Thoughts, Travel, Work

15 responses to “For Singapore Airlines, Slapping Their Stewardesses Is A Private Matter! Can We Really Slap Them?

  1. Pingback: For Singapore Airlines, Slapping Their Stewardesses Is A Private Matter! Can We Really Slap Them?

  2. I am surprised to hear SIA is washing their hands off this. Even if the flight attendant know the couple personally and have a dark history with them, the incident happened on board an SIA flight. I would have thought SIA will do something to protect the reputation and safety of their own Singapore Girl.

    It’s prolly because we are talking about a very high profile businessman here who also happen to be on the Board of Directors for one of the SIA subsidiaries?

  3. arnoutmostert

    It’s interesting that on the Majulah Singapura blog the issue is referred to as “rich vs poor”. My wife happens to be ex SIA and I’m confident in saying that most SIA staff is certainly not “poor”. One glance around the airport can confirm this as the LV/Gucci bags are clearly no fakes.

    This issue in my opinion is more about how Singaporeans ‘of a certain kind’ deal with service staff. (I don’t even want to get started on how they deal with their maids as that makes me really sick…) Once someone has a service job in Singapore, the types as described in the blog will treat them as ‘invisibles’, not thanking or even acknowledging them. Is it any wonder that service in many places in Singapore constantly disappoints? Who would like to be treated like dirt by some tai tai or tosser who thinks she/he is better than someone else?

    I too find it disappointing (but in no way surprising) that SIA does not stand up for its staff. From the stories my wife tells me of her flying days I know that they will always take the side of the passenger. Ever since hearing some of these horror stories i am no longer so impressed with SQ, but all the more so with their wonderful cabin crew.

    Rest assured though, I would bet that most of the people ‘of a certain kind’ get their food and drinks in most establishments (including on board with SQ) juiced up with some “Aqua Saliva” from the staff that has so thoroughly been ignored by them earlier.

    Hi Arnout nice to have you drop by and thanks for the great and long comment. I guess the glaring reference here is the ‘super-rich’ where Mr Wong is last listed as No. 28 on Forbes Singapore’s richest. Anyways we do not know the context here maybe the air stewardess did do something to incur the wrath of Mrs Wong we do not know. But my point was, why did SIA wash their hands off this? To which you’ve given some interesting insights, thanks!

  4. arnoutmostert is right, it is disappointing, but not surprising.

    One can also argue that by protecting its bread & butter instead of its air stewardess, SIA ensures it continues to be able to provide jobs for its air stewardess.

    A case of ‘lose the battle, win the war?’ I personally think it’s more like ‘lose the battle, lose the war as well’ :p

  5. After reading this article,I want to go out to see the movie with my boy firend.
    Goodbye and Good Luck.

    LOL what movie?!?

  6. henry

    Pity the stewardess,what rights do Mrs Wong have to slap someone like that?There is so many other ways for her to stop the stewardess e.g:ask her to back off politely,I just don’t understand why
    she’s degrading herself by doing such things,
    perhaps she’s afraid because she looked like an old hag,lolz

    I try to keep this objective instead of personal I guess, we don’t really know the context of why it happened but one thing’s for sure – SIA should have taken a more proactive position which is why I’m posting this up.

  7. Pingback: Airliners and Aircrafts » For Singapore Airlines Slapping Their Stewardesses Is A Private Matter …

  8. Moments

    There’s always a reason behind everythings. What i heard from the SIA crew was abit of a story. Why SIA not taking any action is not b’cos of the relationship they have but the Wongs had already compensated her with a big lump sums of money. It’s involved hundreds thousand dollars(SGD). I believe with that kind of money the stewardess is now fully ‘recovered’ & ‘resting’ somewhere nice 🙂

    Hi there, thanks for the update. This information is not made known to the public but even then, SIA should still make some sort of stand in the context of their employees being assaulted at work?

  9. Moments

    That’s the part i really don’t understand……why SIA not doing anything abt the employees being assaulted at work & said that it private issue…Duh….! Since the Wongs is one of the richest why not just buy their own private jet, So there’ll be no slapping on any of the SQ girls.

    LOL good point, maybe take a small jet all the way to US will have motion sickness?

  10. locknuts

    Regardless of whatever the situation was,

    1) Mdm slapper should be charged for slapping the stewardess.

    2) SIA should be sued for failing to protect and provide its staff with representation.

  11. Francis

    What is the moral of the action? When SIA spokesperson said that slapping the stewardess in its airliner was a personal matter and the airline did not wish to comment. In my opinion, it was all about money issue. It was cheaper to ignore the stewardess and let the rich passengers off. It was better to lose the stewardess than losing the passengers. By the rule of thumb and in the light of “customer is always right”, there is no law. What matters most was how to save one’s own face. Again money was used for compensation and in turn closed up the ugly chapter.

  12. jojo

    I am an old dear friend of Mr. Wong from the California. From my many experiences Mrs. Wong is a very insecured women and she would slap anyone who is talking to her husband. She has many times threatened my life for being his friend. Because they are rich she thinks can get away with anything. I hope that justice is brought to the Sia stewardess. Good luck.

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