I AM writing to express my concern regarding the rights of employees and the rate of unemployment in Brunei Darussalam.
I used to work in the private sector until recently.
During this time, I tried to find employment in the government sector but tests after tests, interviews after interviews, it was to no avail.
After a while, my contract in the private sector was terminated.
I worked in an environment consisting a lot of people.
The salary was alright and working office hours was a blessing too.
However, every day was a torture to us.
The director’s wife assaulted us mentally.
She would come to the office in a rage, threatening and verbally abusing us.
At times, she would drive fast through the drop-off area, shouting. What if there’s someone or a car passing by?
It was disheartening to hear that the people which were supposed to protect us, the head of departments, turned their back on us.
When we are not at work, the director’s wife would go through our table and pick fights later.
I reported the issue to our deputy since it was an invasion of privacy.
Sadly, the deputy could do nothing as she is the director’s wife.
It was early last year when the Board of Directors appointed someone to be the ‘head’ of the company.
Our deputy was asked to step down and work in a lower position.
It was only then we found out that the new ‘head’ is a relative of the director’s wife.
Things got really worse from there.
We thought the new ‘head’ would bring changes to the company, but it was sadly not the case.
Our roles in the company changed with the management regressing day by day.
There was no improvement.
At one point, the new ‘head’ raged at the office because of a misunderstanding and lashed at us.
It was at last year end that my contract was terminated without any reason stated.
It was not only me, but two other high ranked people had their contract terminated as well. We were not new employees as we had worked there for years.
It came to our knowledge that the ‘head’ and director’s wife wanted to “get rid” of all the current employees and bring in their relatives to replace us.
They threatened that if we did not resign, we would be blacklisted.
To make matters worse, our last salary was held and delayed while they refused to give us our bonus.
We tried to complain to no avail.
Where is the rights for employees?
Is being mentally assaulted considered acceptable just because they hold a higher position?
Are locals still being picky about jobs?
I don’t think so.
I have done labour work for my boss, ran errands for them and came running whenever they called for me.
Perhaps youth are just traumatised to find other jobs in the private sector similar to my situation.
Can the authorities look into this matter?