Hospital Job Applicant Got Turned Down Due to Hijab


Today, I sent an email to the CEO of CGH enquiring on the discriminatory hiring practices employed by them. Hope to get a satisfactory reply.


Dear Ms Lilian Chew


I would like to bring your attention to a recruitment exercise that was conducted by Changi General Hospital on Thursday, 27 March 2014 at Tampines North Community Centre.

Prior to the recruitment exercise, a seminar was conducted on Tuesday, 18 March 2014 at Northwest CDC Woodlands Civic Centre, by Health Management International and Institute of Health Science in collaboration with Changi General Hospital (CGH), Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and National University Hospital (NUH).

I was informed by a friend that she had signed up for a Therapy Assistant course during the seminar and subsequently was called up to attend an interview on 27 March 2014.

What happened next was no doubt an appalling experience no person should be made to go through. The first and only question the interviewer asked her was “Are you willing to remove your hijab?” When she replied no, the interviewer said, “Then there’s no point we continue this interview. You fail immediately.” Not being a confrontational person, she proceeded to leave the interview room.

Therefore I would like to seek clarifications from you on a few matters;
1) What is the hospital’s policy regarding recruitment of candidates wearing the hijab?

2) Was the interviewer acting on his personal whims and fancies or is it the hospital’s policy to exclude and deny enrolment/recruitment to students/candidates wearing the hijab?

3) Why candidates were not informed during the seminar that anyone wearing hijab is not welcomed to participate? So that potential candidates need not waste time, effort and money attending the interview just to get discriminated on.

4) Why is the hospital discriminating against people who put on the hijab, the opportunity to learn and to seek knowledge?

As an established organization that seeks to be a world class healthcare service provider, surely this kind of discrimination should not have existed if any.

Singapore prides itself on a meritocratic system as highlighted by our prime minister on numerous occasions. To make an unjust or prejudicial distinction in the treatment of people is unacceptable.

As a public hospital funded by tax-payers, it is in the interest of the public that the hospital make known of its hiring practices.

I look forward to your reply on the above enquires.

Thank you.

Osman Sulaiman

Speaker of Parliament – Mdm Halimah Yacob
Minister-in-Charge of Muslim Affairs – Assoc Prof Dr Yaacob Ibrahim
Ministry of Manpower – Dr Amy Khor Lean Suan
Acting Minister for Manpower – Tan Chuan Jin
CEO Changi General Hospital – Dr LEE Chien Earn
Deputy Director HR Management, Changi General Hospital – Darren Lim


Source: Osman Sulaiman

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