On November 1, a student from Deyi Secondary School contacted the media about a matter they perceived to be unjust.
The matter was over the termination of the school's drink stall owner, Mdm Yap, supposedly on unreasonable grounds:
The student claimed that Mdm Yap was fired because of her use of disposable plastic cups.
Subsequently, the school's principal, Lim Ai Poo, clarified that the stall owner was fired due to her alleged lack of hygiene and non-compliance to sell healthier drinks, rather than the use of plastic cups.
But that was not the end of the matter.
Granddaughter of drink stall owner speaks out
On Nov. 7, after the first article was published, the granddaughter of the drink stall vendor responded to Mothership's queries about the situation.
The following is a summary of her account:
- As opposed to the three reminders that Lim said was given, Yap allegedly received only one warning letter about her stall’s hygiene.
- According to Yap's grandchild, NEA has consistently graded Yap with an “A” for hygiene.
- Yap reportedly purchased S$600 worth of plastic containers to store her drinks after being informed of the issue of cardboard boxes, but got terminated shortly after.
- Yap reportedly sold fruits as well as drinks that have the “healthier choice” symbol.
- The drink stall owner was given one month’s notice.
- Yap tried to ask for the reason she was terminated, but did not get an answer.
The granddaughter wrote:
"Mdm Yap (my grandmother) has dedicated half of her life to the drink stall ever since Deyi Secondary School opened, even after my grandfather passed on. Even though it might be a small role to some, she has touched multiple lives of the students and staff as well.
"She was heartbroken when the news broke, and wouldn’t eat or sleep much.
My grandmother genuinely loves her job and and is always trying to upgrade herself in order to communicate better with the students and tries to keep her mind youthful as well."
Deyi: Two other stall holders terminated
In response to Mothership's queries, Deyi Secondary has addressed the assertions above in a second statement.
Speaking on behalf on the principal, vice-principal Ong Hui Chee said that Yap was given two verbal reminders earlier this year, and a letter in August.
According to Ong, the plastic containers bought by Yap were not yet in use in September.
Furthermore, the vice-principal claimed that although Yap used to sell fruits, she has not done so for the past three years, despite repeated requests from the school.
Two other stall owners apparently also had their contracts discontinued, and the school has reached out to Yap to speak further with her.
The statement in full:
Mdm Yap was given two verbal reminders, one each in February and May, followed by a reminder letter in August, for not maintaining proper hygiene practices at her stall and continuing to store cardboard boxes behind her stall which attracted pests. The plastic containers bought by Mdm Yap were not yet in use in September.
While Mdm Yap had sold fruits previously, she has not done so in the past three years despite several requests from the school.
The school informed our canteen vendors about the possibility of non-renewal of contracts several times this year, including in October. Mdm Yap, along with two other stallholders, were alerted in late October that their contracts would not be renewed for 2019.
The school has reached out to Mdm Yap to speak further with her.
Top image by iamblok/Instagram