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SingPost unaware that the postman who threw away residents’ mail in Ang Mo Kio has special needs

The Independent logo The Independent 21/5/2019 Anna Maria Romero
© Facebook screengrab/ Alyce Kathlyn

Singapore — The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said on May 21 (Tuesday) that the postman who had thrown away undelivered mail for Ang Mo Kio residents is an individual with special needs.

The 29-year-old postman’s deed was discovered when a suburb resident had chanced upon unopened mail in nearby dustbin and had then posted photos and reoorts of these up on Facebook in January this year.

After SingPost took the matter to the authorities, the postman was arrested by the police.

IMDA has since investigated the matter, with the postman fully cooperating, according to the Authority. However, investigations have shown that the postman had transgressed the Postal Services Act, though he has shown contrition for having thrown away the mail, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) reported.

“In the course of its investigations, IMDA found that the postman involved is an individual with special needs and has expressed remorse for his actions,” the Authority said.

It was decided that the man would be given an advisory, based on the circumstances surrounding the case.

IMDA, however, issued a stern warning to SingPost, since mail integrity and security had been compromised.

SingPost told CNA that the postman had been its employee for over three years and had thus far worked “satisfactorily” until the incident occurred a few months ago.

Moreover, SingPost said that it was unaware that the man had special needs.

According to SingPost. ”We were not aware of his condition throughout his employment with SingPost and he had worked without major incident, even during festive peaks of previous years.”

The man was fired after the mail-throwing incident but he had been offered employment again after the investigation from the IMDA had ended.

It is unknown, however, if the man has accepted employment with SingPost again.

In a statement, the postal service provider said, ”SingPost is a firm believer of equal opportunity employment. We will continue to offer jobs to suitable candidates who meet the job requirements of the roles, and to provide comprehensive training and support for our team members.”

On January 28, a woman who goes by the name Alyce Kathlyn opened residential trash containers at Ang Mo Kio and saw around 30 to 40 unopened mail, and parcels that had came from SingPost  but had never made it to their designated recipients. There were government letters from the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) and the Land Transport Authority included.

The following month, another postman lost his job after it was discovered that he had thrown away direct mail and returned letters in one condominium. He later admitted to having disposed of the mail and said that he was the victim of unjust treatment, and that he was tired.

Also in January, IMDA vowed to take “firm action” against SingPost after a series of glaring lapses that have resulted in the arrest of one postman for reportedly throwing away undelivered mail, as well as disciplinary action for another postal worker who had lied about distributing flyers that a customer had paid a whopping S$ 7,000 for.

The authority have vowed to go after SingPost for transgressions in its service standards and public postal license requirements.

IMDA said that it has “grave concerns” because of breaches in SingPost’s performance, and has said that “SingPost must investigate all complaints and feedback raised, and take urgent steps to improve its service standards, and restore public confidence in its postal services.”

SingPost has been required under IMDA’s Postal Quality of Service standards to deliver 99 percent of basic letters within one working day, and 100 percent by two working days. Should SingPost not meet this and other standards, they could be fined as much as S$50,000 a month for each transgression of standards./ TISG

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