SINGAPORE NEWS: Workplace Bullying May Be On the Rise in Singapore

Workplace bullying may be on the rise in Singapore.

This is the assessment of iGrow, a psychological consultancy company that offers corporate health and wellness services.

“We see more verbal abuse, emotional neglect and making life difficult by causing problems or sabotaging,” said Mr Benedict Lim, chief psychologist at iGrow, who was speaking to The New Paper.

According to Dr Elizabeth Nair, the principal psychologist at Work & Health Psychologists, workplace bullying is an overlooked problem. Dr Nair says the most common type of workplace bullying here is social bullying.

Said Dr Nair: “It has to do with the idea that work and deadlines are so important that one has to put in extraordinarily long hours. It is when the workplace culture and norms have been set like that, that it becomes almost like a trap.”

According to a survey that was conducted in year 2012, about one in four (24%) Singaporean workers said they felt bullied at work.

The survey also showed that about 74% respondents report their colleagues as being the “biggest bullies”, with bosses making up 62% of the culprits. Close to one in five respondents (21%) also claimed to have been bullied by clients.

The New Paper highlighted the case of a 45-year-old man who had been the victim of serious workplace bullying.

Mr Kenny Leong, a senior accounts executive in a public corporation, was reported to have been called “woman” or “chao ah gua” (a derogatory term to describe an effeminate man) in most of the places he worked at. Mr Lim, who is soft-spoken man gentle in manner, has ever been hit in the face with a plastic folder before by a former boss. He was once hospitalised in IMH due to workplace bullying.

According to the bible, bullying is a sin:

There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers. (Proverbs 6:16-19; ESV)

But I say, if you are even angry with someone, you are subject to judgment! If you call someone an idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the court. And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell. (Matthew 5:22; NLT)

Also, according to the bible, God will repay those who have done evil:

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. (Revelation 22:12; English Standard Version)

Does the bible have anything to say to victims of bullying. Yes, it does. Firstly, victims are not to take things in their own hands, but to leave it to God to take vengeance on their behalf:

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” (Romans 12:19-20; English Standard Version)

God is faithful and can help victims if they’d put their trust Him:

I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. (Psalm 18:3; English Standard Version)

Behold, all who are incensed against you shall be put to shame and confounded; those who strive against you shall be as nothing and shall perish. You shall seek those who contend with you, but you shall not find them; those who war against you shall be as nothing at all. For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:11-13; ESV)


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