Last Updated on 2023-07-25 , 12:16 pm
Have you ever experienced a situation where you love your job and the work you do, but your colleagues are intolerable?
For many people, the type of colleagues you have at work can make or break your working life. For others, the colleagues surrounding you may even make or ruin a life.
It appears that a police officer recently committed suicide due to his experience in a toxic work environment.
But he did not go quietly. He left behind a lengthy Facebook post detailing his experience in the Singapore Police Force (SPF), dropping names of those who caused him misery.
These allegations are currently being investigated.
Here is what happened.
SPF Officer Passed Away
Earlier this week, an officer with the SPF was found motionless at the foot of a residential block on Yishun.
The police were notified of the incident on Friday (21 July 2023) afternoon around 4.55 pm and rushed to the location at Block 393 Yishun Avenue.
The man was taken to a hospital but was unconscious and eventually passed away.
The man was identified as Mr Uvaraja Gopal, and he was 36 years old.
SPF Officer Details Bullying and Workplace Discrimination Occurring in the Police Force
What could have caused this relatively young man to leave this world prematurely (in what appears to be a case of suicide)?
The man, Mr Gopal, left some clues as to why he took such drastic measures in a Facebook post.
The original Facebook post is no longer available, but a Facebook user going by the moniker Tan Kwee Yong uploaded screenshots of Mr Gopal’s post, calling on people to read the “long but important messages”.
Mr Gopal’s post starts with him describing his passion for a “uniform career”, joining a uniformed group in his secondary school days and graduating as a “platoon sergeant”.
He then enlisted between “2005 to 2007” and did his National Service with “Team Alpha”.
While he did meet some great people in the SPF, including “Sir Tan Boon Heng” and other “great team members”, the “toxic” workplace culture soon took a toll on Mr Gopal’s passion to serve and, eventually, his will to live.
According to Mr Gopal’s post, there were many instances of “backstabbing” and “team members playing each other out” hoping to be promoted.
Mr Gopal faced bullying and name-calling while at his “Ang Mo Kio North NPC” posting. He was called “keleng kia” and “black and smelly”.
He also said that he was “always put down by people” who said he was a “low-ranking nobody” despite his best efforts at work.
While Mr Gopal tried to stand up for himself, this “offended people”. He even went to the extent of defending himself in “a case which cleared my name”.
One of the offenders which Mr Gopal names in his post is “Chua Boon Hwee”, who “killed [his] ranking and appraisal multiple times” despite the former’s “16 hour shifts” and efforts to keep himself fit.
Mr Gopal also details how he was passed up for promotion in favour of other individuals who “came to work just to sleep and do nothing” even though he had been “proactive” and maintained his fitness levels.
The workplace bullying also extended to Mr Gopal’s “leave forms” being “shredded on live stream” to a team group chat as a superior, “Inspector Teo Kim Cheng”, was unhappy about Mr Gopal’s desire to apply for leave.
This leave incident was also brushed aside by one “Chua Boon Hwee” to whom Mr Gopal reported the incident.
In 2021, Mr Gopal’s woes worsened. His wedding was also boycotted by his teammates, and his report about colleagues vaping “in the office area” (which is illegal) was covered up by “internal investigators” from Punggol and “Chua Boon Hwee” from “AMK North NPC”.
This whistleblowing situation caused Mr Gopal to be “hated” even though he did the right thing. He was transferred to a new posting at Punggol, where he was “pushed around in the team” and treated as an “outcast”.
In 2023, Mr Gopal hit rock bottom as his “CIO Clement Disc from Ang Mo Kio Police Division IB” repeatedly “humiliated” Mr Gopal and “shouted at [him] without humanity”. He was “made fun of” and “shunned” despite asking for help.
One “Commander Zed Teo” was also alleged to have treated Mr Gopal as an “accused”.
All these added up and caused Mr Gopal’s health to suffer greatly. There was then a “biggest betrayal” from his “own family”. Mr Gopal lists “elder brother Deepa Kumara” and a person who he “groomed”, “Karthig Gopal”.
As a result, Mr Gopal wrote that he preferred to “die with [his] integrity, pride and dignity” and that he was “signing out”.
Here is the full post for your reference:
Police Are Investigating the Allegations
Since the news about Mr Gopal’s death surfaced, both the SPF and Law Minister K Shanmugam have weighed in on the matter.
The SPF posted on Facebook that a police officer died an “unnatural death” and that “investigations are ongoing”.
They also addressed the “challenges at work” which Mr Gopal posted about and “will investigate into all the issues…raised in his post”.
The Law Minister reposted the SPF’s post, adding that he has “asked SPF to investigate the matter thoroughly” to “get to the bottom of it” and hold those responsible “accountable”.
He also said that there is a “clear policy of non discrimination” which the SPF is “committed to” and all officers are “entitled to be treated fairly”.
For now, we can only wait to hear more about the details behind Mr Gopal’s “tragic” death.
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