Cheers staff at Lau Pa Sat outlet fired after dispute with police

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The staff at the Cheers outlet at Lau Pa Sat, who got involved in a dispute with the police on New Year’s Day, has been fired.

A statement pertaining to his dismissal was put up on Facebook on Jan. 4, three days after the incident occurred.

The post said the Cheers franchisee was instructed to dismiss the staff.

The Cheers statement read: “We require all staff to offer full co-operation and compliance with the authorities, and we do not tolerate acts from staff that undermine the authority of the police.”

“We appreciate the feedback and concern that we’ve received from the public on the matter, and we sincerely apologise for the distress caused.”

Cheers is a franchise-operated convenience store chain under FairPrice.

Cheers said in an earlier statement that it immediately placed its staff on administrative leave and conducted an investigation after it was alerted to the incident.

Cheers also apologised in its Jan. 2 statement for any distress the incident had caused.

Background

A total of five videos of the incident were put up on TikTok by user @confederateginger.

The incident took place inside the convenience store at about 8pm.

The videos were filmed from the perspective of the store staff, who identifies himself as Jonathan on the social media platform.

The staff was heard engaging in a verbal exchange with three police officers.

In the series of videos, the staff alleged that a “drunk” man had entered the store, “caused trouble, used F-word” and claimed to be a police officer.

When police officers asked the staff for his identification, he replied: “Why do you need my ID?”

An officer asked the staff if he mentioned the word “Bangladesh” during his conversation with the other man, who was not captured in the video.

The staff confirmed this, and said he did so because “he play the race card first”.

After an officer flipped the sign on the door from “Open” to “Closed”, Jonathan flipped it back and said: “Eh no, no, no. No such thing ah. There’s no disrupting of business just ‘cos of police business’.”

An officer explained that as the staff was manning the store alone, he would face interruptions if customers kept entering.

When an officer told a customer to come back later as the store was closed, the staff told the person to “come in”.

The staff then said he had produced his identity card (IC) and would “viral this on TikTok”.

The Singapore Police Force told Mothership that preliminary investigations revealed that comments about race and nationality, and verbal threats, were allegedly exchanged prior to the police’s arrival.

Two men, aged 29 and 64, are assisting with police investigations.

Top photos via @confederateginger TikTok