Res­tau­rant owner de­nies slap­ping worker

New Straits Times - - News -

ME­LAKA: The owner of a chicken rice res­tau­rant in Me­laka Raya has hit back at Ne­ti­zens who crit­i­cised him for al­legedly slap­ping his em­ployee in pub­lic.

The 42-year-old owner, who de­clined to be named, claimed he was merely “horseplaying” with his em­ployee and did not slap his worker.

“What has gone vi­ral is false. It ap­peared like I was slap­ping him, but it was not a lem­pang.

“Lem­pang is where you raise your hands up high and (hit hard) on the face.

“I was only flick­ing my hands close to his face to in­struct him to fo­cus on his work as he was be­ing play­ful,” he told the New Straits Times, adding that there were no in­juries in­flicted on his worker.

The man added that the worker was not an In­done­sian, as al­leged by Ne­ti­zens, but a Malaysian work­ing with him for the past 15 years.

“He is a lo­cal and about 30 years old. I treat him like my adopted son, but he is very play­ful.

“So, from time to time, I need to get him to stay fo­cused, so I al­ways horse­play with him.”

The owner said since the in­ci­dent went vi­ral, he had been hav­ing sleep­less nights as he had re­ceived threats and was sub­jected to pro­fan­i­ties from peo­ple on so­cial me­dia and via phone calls.

“I have been re­ceiv­ing calls from strangers scold­ing me, and pri­vate mes­sages on Face­book by peo­ple who threat­ened to lem­pang me.

“I’ve lost count of how many (I have re­ceived).

“I am so stressed. It’s hard to de­scribe what I’m feel­ing and I have not been sleep­ing well for four days,” he said.

He posted his ver­sion of the story on his res­tau­rant’s Face­book page: EeJiBan Chicken Rice Ball Ha­lal.

He said he would lodge a po­lice re­port against Ne­ti­zens for shar­ing the in­ci­dent with­out con­firm­ing the mat­ter.

Asked about claims that there were cus­tomers who had seen him scold­ing his work­ers, he said:

“When you are op­er­at­ing a busy res­tau­rant like mine, you need to en­sure ef­fi­ciency so that your cus­tomers need not wait.

“If I am man­ning the front­line and my work­ers are in­side, of course I have to raise my voice. But I have never scolded them with vul­gar­i­ties.

“I have only told them things like ‘standby chili’, ‘go, take the order now. Go, Go’. Noth­ing wrong, right?

“I do not want to be a part of this is­sue with peo­ple dis­cussing this,” he said.

A Twit­ter user, be­lieved to be a cus­tomer of the res­tau­rant, had posted pic­tures of the em­ployer and his worker, claim­ing that the em­ployer had slapped his em­ployee in front of his cus­tomers.

The user said the worker was slapped be­cause the pail he was car­ry­ing had knocked into a cus­tomer, even though the cus­tomer did not com­plain about it.

The post, which was up­loaded on the Twit­ter ac­count “GG” on Aug 6, has since been pri­va­tised, but it has been re­posted on Face­book and other web­sites, gar­ner­ing thou­sands of shares.

I have been re­ceiv­ing calls from strangers scold­ing me, and pri­vate mes­sages on Face­book by peo­ple who threat­ened to ‘lem­pang’ me.

RES­TAU­RANT OWNER

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