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Should Calling Colleagues “Dear” and “Sayang” Be Considered Sexual Harassment?

Robin Tan, AWAM & Lawyer, Messrs Darren Lim & Lee

31-May-23 14:00

Should Calling Colleagues “Dear” and “Sayang” Be Considered Sexual Harassment?

Calling colleagues “sayang” or “dear” are now considered sexual harassment in the workplace and will be considered an offence for civil servants. This is according to the Public Services Commission (PSC). PSC stated that calling a colleague “sayang” (for example) is considered verbal sexual harassment, while touching, holding, groping, kissing, and pinching would be physical sexual harassment.

The PSC said that if a civil servant is found to have committed such offences, they could face disciplinary action under Regulation 4A of the Public Officers Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993.

This move has generally been praised, but there are some who have also wondered why calling your colleague “dear” is a big deal. We discuss all this with Robin Tan of AWAM. Robin is also a lawyer at Messrs Darren Lim & Lee.

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Produced by: Dashran Yohan

Presented by: Dashran Yohan

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Categories:  Law/Activismthe workplace

Tags:  gendered languagewomen's rightssocial justiceequalityequity

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