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12 February 2012 —
In what could very well be a landmark case in Singapore, Mr Lawrence Bernard Wee [pictured above] is suing his former employers, Robinsons Singapore, for "constructive dismissal."

According to court documents filed with the High Court, Mr Wee was unfairly harassed by his former boss, Mr Jim McCallum, for being gay. Mr Jim McCallum had told Mr Wee's direct supervisor, Mr Shia Yew Peck, that " Lawrence cannot be right to begin with as Lawrence is wrong already as a person." Mr Wee was also asked if he would consider turning straight.

Robinsons denies Mr Wee's statements made in the court documents, and further claims, that he made the decision to leave Robinson's of his own accord. Robinsons also denies that Mr Wee "increased corporate sales" for the company from $20 million to over $32 million a year, and that Mr Wee had performed well in the company.

If such is the case, then why is it that the following is also true? Mr Wee joined Robinson's in 2006, and by the time of his departure, in 2012, his salary had grown from $7,200 per month to more than $16,000 a month. Mr Wee's salary increments, promotions, and company bonuses in 2010, 2011, and 2012 had been approved by Mr. McCallum himself.


— Jim McCallum pictured here in a press conference representing the Al Futtaim group

Prior to reports in the local media on this, Trevvy's efforts to contact the Al Futtaim Group, who owns the Robinsons brand, had garnered only silence. In our communication with Al-Futtaim, we asked what the Group's stance on fair employment was, and if the Group's management was aware of this alleged discriminatory behaviour of a senior staff member in Singapore.

It is interesting to note that the Robinsons' Group represents the Marks & Spencer brand, and the latter's corporate website in the UK states specifically, "It is our policy to: Promote a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimization on the basis gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment." McCallum's LinkedIn profile lists him as being a "Divisional Director at Marks & Spencer" in the past.


— McCallum's LinkedIn profile retrieved today.

Mr Wee's case comes hot on the heels of TWO cases to be brought to the Courts, challenging Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code to be unconsitutional. The first of these cases will be heard on the 14th February 2013.

Section 377 refers to the section of the Penal Code in several former British colonies, including Singapore, that criminalises homosexual acts. It is no surprise that countries that retain this law form the majority of countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. Section 377 was repealed in England and Wales in 1967 and subsequently in Scotland, Northern Ireland, UK Crown Dependencies, Guernsey, Jersey and Isle of Man over the years.

Related Articles:

  • Harassed For Being Gay
  • Singaporean Gay Couple Files 377A Challenge
  • Lim Yu Beng responds to Pastor Khong





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    Page 1 of 1
    Posted by Boiboi56 Icon
    Posted on 25/02/2013, 09:15 AM
    He looked so different in the new paper
    Posted by enzolam Icon
    Posted on 08/06/2013, 11:17 AM
    It is common to face discrimination at work even though the company has a policy on "Promote a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimization on the basis gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment"
    I feel that it is left unsaid and no one has ever stepped out like Lawrence did...
    Posted by enzolam Icon
    Posted on 08/06/2013, 11:18 AM
    It is common to face discrimination at work even though the company has a policy on "Promote a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimization on the basis gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment"
    I feel that it is left unsaid and no one has ever stepped out like Lawrence did...
    Posted by enzolam Icon
    Posted on 08/06/2013, 11:18 AM
    It is common to face discrimination at work even though the company has a policy on "Promote a working environment free from discrimination, harassment and victimization on the basis gender, sexual orientation, marital or civil partnership status, gender reassignment"
    I feel that it is left unsaid and no one has ever stepped out like Lawrence did...
    Page 1 of 1