Mothership interviews Sonny Truyen AKA the kena fired because of Pokemon Go guy
The first victim of Pokemon Go.
Sonny Truyen, also know as the Pokemon Go guy who briefly became public enemy number 1 in Singapore, recently gave a statement to Mashable.
He initially apologised for his actions generalising an entire country.
“It was a dick move on my behalf and a very big error in judgement to negatively label an entire country over Pokémon.”
But then followed it up immediately by generalising an entire people once more.
“It was disappointing the lengths Singaporeans went at to attack me and deny any chance of making amends for my actions.”
However, this could very well have been a misrepresentation of his statement.
At least that’s what Truyen claims, citing a need to communicate his apology more effectively to Singaporeans as a driving force in him reaching out to Mothership.sg.
He reached out to us over email on July 13, for some reason CC-ing his former boss, Darius Cheung, as well.
He also appears to harbour no hard feelings towards his former boss, which you will soon find, serves as a recurring theme through the interview.
What are your plans after 99.co?
Sonny: Will take some time off before deciding my next move.
What do you think of the reactions on social media when complaints about Singapore went viral?
S: While I didn’t expect such a big uproar, I can certainly understand the reaction. I’m very sorry for the offensive comments and regret my behaviour.
What caused it?
S: I was annoyed at something that had nothing to do with Singapore and let things go a bit too far. Upon reflection, I believe my behaviour is in part due to 20 years exposure to gaming ‘shit talk’, however that is no excuse and I hope for the public’s understanding.
Who have you turned to for support during this tough time?
S: I have an extensive network of Australian friends residing in Singapore, most notably my best friend Jazzy who has been a pillar of strength that has kept me sane.
You mentioned in a statement that you were “denied any chance of making amends” for your actions. How would you have done it better?
S: I think donating some time & resources to help out some local charities would have been a good start – unfortunately I can’t stay around to do that anymore.
While Truyen appears genuinely contrite, one would expect him to hold some shred of resentment towards the man who cut short his contract after less than 2 weeks on the job. A decision that was made in a single day no less.
In fact, there had been criticism over Cheung’s decision to terminate Sonny’s contract due to pressure from the Internet, most notably by Ex-Nominated Member of Parliament(NMP), Calvin Cheng, who called Darius a weakling.
That was not the case, and Truyen had nothing but praise for the 99.co CEO.
Do you think your boss made the correct decision to let you go?
S: I would have done the same if the shoe was on the other foot.
Ex-NMP Calvin Cheng called Darius (Cheung) a weakling for bowing down to pressure and firing you. What are your thoughts?
S: Darius (Cheung) isn’t weak, I wouldn’t have accepted his offer to join 99.co if this was the case. His decision demonstrates how much he cares for rest of the team and the people of Singapore. I don’t blame him for my own mistakes.
What is your relationship like now with the people at 99.co?
S: Darius (Cheung) has been very professional, kind & fair throughout this debacle. I’m confident that once this issue dies down, 99.co will continue to be a talking point for years to come.
That response didn’t quite answer our question. We were looking to see how his colleagues reacted to the outburst, but instead got another LinkedIn recommendation for Cheung and 99.co.
So we found ourselves having to rephrase the question.
Apart from Darius (Cheung), how did your other colleagues react?
S: It was my first week and I didn’t have a chance to do much more than meet & greets, a lot of time was spent looking for accommodation actually. Not sure how the rest of the team have reacted as I haven’t spoken to any of them personally.
The important questions
But we finally got to the 2 questions that everyone had been waiting for.
Will you still be playing Pokemon Go?
S: Can’t play until I head back to Australia, that’s not for awhile, so no.
What is your favourite Pokemon?
S: Jigglypuff, who else?
Considering that something he considered harmless turned into an absolute monster, we were kinda expecting Magikarp. But Jigglypuff is a fine choice too.
Truyen is now back in Malaysia.
Top image provided by Sonny Truyen