NOC Sgcickenrice Saga

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@sgcickenrice is the name of a now-defunct Instagram account that sparked a major controversy involving local media company Night Owl Cinematics (NOC) and its founder Sylvia Chan in October 2021.

Revealed to be run by a 20-year-old student named Brandon Tan by local influencer Xiaxue,[1][2] @sgcickenrice exposed Sylvia for alleged abuse of the staff and talents under her employ. The account was later renamed to @baerendang1 and all incriminating posts were removed.[3]

@sgcickenrice's account page and Brandon, the admin behind it. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Beyond the initial wave of incriminating posts shared by Brandon through @sgcickenrice, it triggered former and existing NOC employees to come forward with their own accusations and evidence of Sylvia’s workplace misdeeds.

Background of @sgcickenrice[edit | edit source]

Education[edit | edit source]

Although Brandon is indicated to be a student, the school he attends is unknown.[4]

Career[edit | edit source]

Brandon is an influencer on TikTok with the handle @baerendang, where he has accumulated more than 52,000 followers and 4.2 million likes.[5] He also hosts a podcast with former NOC talent Nicole Liel[6] and manages a home-baking business.[7]

Brandon was previously involved in a shoot for NOC, which Xiaxue was also a part of.[8]

Timeline of the NOC Sgcickenrice Saga[edit | edit source]

Emergence of social media posts against Sylvia Chan (7 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Targeting of Samantha Tan[edit | edit source]

Abusive language was used to describe Samantha. Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 7 October 2021, Brandon used the @sgcickenrice account to share screenshots of abusive WhatsApp messages allegedly from Sylvia.[9][10] In the messages, the “f*ck” word was repeatedly used in relation to an NOC talent named Samantha Tan, the winner of the first season of talent scouting show kNOCk Out.”

According to the screenshots, the messages were sent in February 2020, a few days before the final episode of kNOCk Out aired.

On the same day, Brandon also uploaded an audio recording, where a woman who claimed to be Sylvia requested an “exit strategy” for Samantha. Samantha was described as a “b*tch who’s f*cking dumb” in the recording.[9]

Abusive language hurled at other staff[edit | edit source]

One of the screenshots shared by @sgcickenrice. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Apart from Samantha, Brandon also shared other screenshots showing Sylvia use abusive language against other staff.[9] In one of the screenshots, Sylvia is observed to call someone “f*cking retarded” over a script formatting issue.

A number of other screenshots showed someone called “Sylvia NOC” impatiently calling someone “f*cking slow” for not completing work on time.[9]

Sylvia was also observed to describe influencers as “stupid”. She later clarified that she meant they were “not so smart.”[9]

Solidarity for Samantha from other kNOCk Out contestants[edit | edit source]

In response @sgcickenrice’s exposé of the abuse heaped on Samantha, other kNOCk Out participants took to Instagram to express their distaste.

Chantelle Chow, for one, shared that Samantha had the propensity to care for others:

“During knockout, she always looked out for me even when she’s stressed out herself. I distinctly remember her bringing the cheese sandwiches her mom made and passing them to everyone so we could eat before shoot. Even after a small misunderstanding we had, she’ll still check in on how I’m doing occasionally despite her hectic schedule.”[11]

Nicole Liel corroborated Chow’s statement, attesting to Samantha’s hardworking and caring nature:

“To hear and read about how my friend can be described in such a crude way literally breaks my heart because she’s been there for me through my ups and downs and she’s just been the kindest, most caring friend ever.”[12]

Grace Lim also weighed in on the abusive leaks, where she affirmed Samantha’s good nature:

“[Samantha’s] definitely one of the nicest, kindest and hardest working soul around. So soft and sweet that all I want to do is protect her as an older sister. [...] Someone beautiful like her is nowhere near to be labeled [a] f*ck face.”[13]

Colgate and Milo severed their partnerships with NOC (9 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Following the first wave of posts from @sgcickenrice, netizens began questioning brands that NOC and Sylvia had worked with on their stance over the issue. Colgate and Milo were the first two known brands to drop their endorsements.[14][15]

Colgate dropped its endorsements with Sylvia and NOC[edit | edit source]

Colgate officially clarified its stance on Sylvia and NOC. Screenshot from Instagram.

In Colgate’s case, questions on its stance surfaced on a post advertising its Sensitive Pro-Relief toothpastes.[16] In response to the comments, Colgate clarified that it had “decided to terminate all related collaborations with Sylvia. It also affirmed that it did not “tolerate any negative behaviours, and [would] continue to be the brand that champions optimism.”

Milo ended its partnership with Sylvia and NOC[edit | edit source]

Milo did not support Sylvia’s abusive behaviour. Screenshot from Instagram.

As for Milo, questions on its stance were directed to a post advertising a contest for Milo Gold Van kits.[17] In response to the questions, Milo asserted that it was “a champion of sports values such as fairness and respect” and thus would not “condone any form of unacceptable behaviour.”

NOC’s content was dislike-bombed by netizens (10 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Dislike-bombing of latest Food King episode[edit | edit source]

NOC’s latest Food King episode was dislike-bombed by netizens. Screenshot from YouTube.

Amidst the mounting controversy surrounding Sylvia and NOC, the latest Food King episode went live on 8 October 2021.[18] The video was dislike-bombed by netizens, and as of 6 November 2021, it had incurred at least 7,000 dislikes and 4,100 likes.

This video was one of many others which were dislike-bombed by netizens.[19] Other videos targeted included:

  • An episode on colonoscopies and mammograms (1,600 dislikes and 1,200 likes)[20]
  • An episode on investments for beginners (618 dislikes and 396 likes)[21]
  • A Halloween episode (1,900 dislikes and 1,900 likes)[22]

DanielFoodDiary intervened as a “voice of reason”[edit | edit source]

DanielFoodDiary spoke out against the dislike-bombing of the Food King episode. Screenshot from Mothership.

DanielFoodDiary, who made a guest appearance in this episode, called for netizens to be reasonable and acknowledge the hard work that went into its production:

“As a voice of reason, there is an entire extremely hardworking behind-the-scene[s] crew behind the episode, and I hope their efforts, work and feelings do not get undermined.” [23]

Existing employee spoke out against the dislike-bombing[edit | edit source]

Statement made by an existing NOC employee. Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 10 October 2021, @sgcickenrice shared a screenshot of someone who claimed to be an existing NOC employee speaking out against the dislike-bombing.[19][24]

In the statement, the employee emphasised that it was unfair for netizens to direct hate to the company itself, as many of the existing staff still needed their jobs to make a living:

“A lot of people don’t realise that what they’re doing is jeopardising a lot of our livelihoods and making the work environment more stressful with all the looming tension going around. So unless we are told otherwise, things like posting a scheduled YouTube video is beyond our control because that’s our job.”

Commenter speaks up for NOC[edit | edit source]

One of @sgcickenrice’s followers also spoke up for NOC, affirming that despite the controversy, the company still had many good people:

“Please don’t target NOC because it let me meet all these amazing people, it’s just Sylvia we are all afraid of. Talents I am really not close because it is true Sylvia does not like when talents and crew become friends or get close.”[19]

NOC issued an official statement to refute @sgcickenrice’s posts (11 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 11 October 2021, NOC issued an official statement to address the controversy sparked by @sgcickenrice’s posts on Instagram.[25] Addressed to their “valued artistes, employees, clients, partners, and viewers,” the statement expressed the belief that @sgcickenrice’s accusations were published with the intent to tarnish NOC’s reputation.[26][27]

The statement went on to affirm that NOC “[would] not stand for [their] good efforts to be blemished by banal allegations” as they have “put in [time and effort] to polish [their] diamonds no matter how rough.”[25] It ended by stating that it had employed lawyers to review the case on its behalf.

Immediate backlash by netizens[edit | edit source]

Netizens were not impressed by the statement, with many questioning why NOC’s account was used to address the allegations when only Sylvia’s misdemeanours were exposed by @sgcickenrice.[26] As of 6 November 2021, the comments on the original Instagram post have been disabled.[25] The following is a small compilation of the top comments.

One commenter remarked that @sgcickenrice’s accusations were “not directed towards NOC as a whole”:

“It was directed against Sylvia and only Sylvia. In fact, the said account praised the work ethics of NOC members (Ryan, etc) and reposted good things about the remaining members of NOC. So this statement clarifies nothing since in the first place, no one accused ‘the whole NOC.’”[26]

Another commenter pointed out the fact that the statement failed to address the allegations that Sylvia had used the f*ck word against Samantha Tan:

“Then can you explain why Sam [was] called a f*ck face multiple times?”[26]

Sylvia and Brandon issued lawyer’s letters to each other (11-12 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Brandon shared a cease and desist letter from Edmond Pereira Law Corporation[edit | edit source]

The lawyer’s letter that was issued to @sgcickenrice. Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 11 October 2021, Brandon archived all the posts on the @sgcickenrice account, save for a post displaying a cease and desist letter from Edmond Pereira Law Corporation.[28][29]

According to the letter, @sgcickenrice’s use of Sylvia and other NOC artistes’ personal data was unauthorised. This had caused “harassment, alarm, and distress to many” and also caused NOC to lose business and sponsors.[28]

The letter went on to demand that @sgcickenrice stop publishing any further allegations and claims against NOC, Sylvia, its staff, artistes, subsidiaries, and affiliates.[28]

Brandon initially complied with the letter’s demands as he was financially unable to fight any lawsuits. He was also unable to set up a GoFundMe page as he was maintaining his anonymous status at the time. He eventually called for lawyers who were willing to work on the case for free.[28]

Brandon received pro bono legal consultation[edit | edit source]

@sgcickenrice engaged Eugene Thuraisinggam to be his lawyer. Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 12 October 2021, Brandon updated @sgcickenrice to state that he had engaged a lawyer to represent the Instagram account.[30][31][32] Issued by Eugene Thuraisingam, a top lawyer in Singapore, the letter highlighted that NOC had failed to make any claims that @sgcickenrice’s allegations against Sylvia were false. The letter also asked for clarification if the letter NOC issued was “a threat to institute criminal proceedings against [@sgcickenrice].”

Subsequently, Brandon unarchived all posts published on the @sgcickenrice account.[30]

8 Days looked back on Sylvia’s Hear U Out interview in an article (12 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Sylvia featured on Hear U Out. Screenshot from MeWatch.

On 12 October 2021, local online magazine publication 8 Days released an article looking back on Sylvia’s interview on talk show Hear U Out.[33] The interview took place in October 2020, where Sylvia spoke to local celebrity Quan Yifeng about the “severe depression, OCD and rage disorder” she suffered when she was in junior college (JC).

8 Days did not clarify its intentions for publishing this article, instead cryptically urging its readers to “read what [they] will into [the] revelation [of Sylvia’s mental struggles].”[33]

Sylvia issued an apology letter on Instagram (13 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 13 October 2021, Sylvia issued an apology letter on Instagram.[34][35][36] In her apology letter, she addressed various accusations that were alleged against her, including her past actions, not upholding NOC’s culture code, and the abusive comments that she had directed at Samantha Tan.

Apology for past actions[edit | edit source]

Sylvia began the letter by apologising for responding 14 days after the allegations by @sgcickenrice first started.[34] While she initially wanted to relay her side of the story, she decided against it as she acknowledged that she “did not live up to the standards expected of [her]:”

“Regardless of the situation or context, I acknowledge that I have disappointed people around me. I did not step up to the standards that I should have upheld, and I have instances where my emotions overrule my better judgment.”[34]

Sylvia went on to state that her “expressions may have been harsh”, but it “was never [her] intention to upset anyone.” She promised to be more careful with her word choice moving forward.

Failure to uphold NOC’s culture code[edit | edit source]

Sylvia also affirmed that she was honoured to lead NOC, expressing her gratitude towards her ability to use her “influence to do the best [she could] to give back especially to youth, women and mental health causes over the years.”[34]

She acknowledged that she had not lived up to the standards expected of a leader, expressing that her “biggest shame” was in “fail[ing] to model the newly minted culture code of NOC”: “To give feedback openly and kindly and to receive with good faith” and “to make decisions for the collective good.”[34]

Sylvia admitted that she had made an erroneous assumption that her behaviour was fully accepted by her staff and thus failed to translate NOC’s culture code into reality:

“Upon reflection, I may have failed to provide the safe space for my colleagues to give me feedback. [...] I always thought that a leader should be tough and I now realise, that I may have come on too strong, and people have now perceived me to be unkind and rude.”[34]

She apologised to her teams and thanked them for the work they contributed to NOC.

Described @sgcickenrice as malicious[edit | edit source]

Sylvia accused @sgcickenrice for attempting to shut down NOC by lynching her, expressing heartbreak over this alleged attack:

“It is heartbreaking to see NOC, a company which has provided love and laughter to its audience and a stellar track record of campaigns for clients for almost 10 years, be taunted by an anonymous account intent to cancel and destroy them through this campaign against me.”[34]

She called for netizens to give NOC “the time and space to do what is necessary” as COVID-19 had badly affected everyone in the company.[34]

Abusive comments against Samantha Tan[edit | edit source]

On the abusive comments directed at Samantha Tan, Sylvia admitted to using “strong language.” However, she went on to affirm that she did not mean any harm with her words:[34]

“But it has never ever been my intention to harm, abuse or discriminate against her or anyone.”[34]

She went on to justify her outburst by claiming to have learnt about Samanatha’s three-year bond with a government agency well into the finals of kNOCkout. This meant that Samantha would not have been able to sign a full-time contract with NOC, and this apparently led to Sylvia angrily “[making] her sentiments clear” in private conversations to fellow colleagues behind the scenes.[34]

“Whatever I shared to my colleagues do not represent what I feel about [Samantha] as a person but towards the situation.”[34]

Promise to remove herself from NOC talent roster[edit | edit source]

Emphasising that she cared for the companies and partners she worked with and her audience, Sylvia promised to be removed from NOC’s artiste lineup.[34] She then asked for people to give allowance for NOC to complete existing jobs.

Sylvia ended her apology by promising to “become kinder, more patient and more thoughtful.”[34]

Netizens’ response[edit | edit source]

Netizens were not convinced that Sylvia’s apology was genuine, with many taking to the post’s comments to express their doubts.[34] Many comments pointed out that her apology was poorly timed, issued only after @sgcickenrice retaliated with a lawyer’s letter of his own. Others accused Sylvia of lying in her apology, claiming that it was full of inconsistencies and falsehoods.

Some comments were more analytical, such as the following one by user @guanlin_:

“"alleged to be rude", "may have been harsh", "may have failed to provide the safe space" - so do you agree or not? Honestly, would have been a passable response if you removed all the hedging language. Not really a wise move to try to deflect the whole issue to the anon whistle-blower account... without their efforts, things would have still gone unnoticed by you, no?”[34]

Other netizens were convinced of Sylvia’s sincerity, calling for her to take time off social media to heal.[34]

Samantha Tan identified inaccuracies in Sylvia’s apology (13 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Samantha Tan’s Instagram stories on Sylvia’s apology letter. Screenshot collage from Today Online.

On the same day (13 Oct 2021), Samantha Tan posted a series of Instagram stories to identify inaccuracies in Sylvia’s apology letter.[37][38] To start, Samantha claimed that she had notified NOC about her three-year government bond before signing the contract. She also said that NOC’s lawyer had reviewed her contract and confirmed that she could have two contracts running at the same time.

Samantha also said that she and the other kNOCkout participants had signed a three-year contract with NOC before filming commenced. This meant that everyone was already confirmed to be hired by NOC to begin with.[37]

Samantha ended her response by stating that she would stop commenting any further as she could not afford a lawsuit. She went on to ask her followers to support her “upcoming GoFundMe.”

Netizens’ response[edit | edit source]

Samantha’s stories were reuploaded onto Reddit, sparking a fervid discussion amongst Singaporean Redditors.[39] Many Redditors were appalled by the alleged lies that Sylvia told in her apology, with user condemned02 stating the following:

“Usually due diligence for such things is to do some background check if they got any other contract they have signed that may be [a] conflict of interest before letting someone participate right? At first I thought Sylvia was so sloppy in not doing her due diligence and [blamed] Samantha for her own screw up.

Now it seems she did [her] due diligence and is lying about Samantha having a contract a big problem. Or her staff [involved] in vetting failed to keep Sylvia up to date on Samantha's contract and only inform her after Samantha won.”[39]

Another user, jupiter1_, expressed disgust over Sylvia “throwing Samantha under the bus”:

“[Sylvia’s apology] IG post felt like a PR move, sad to say, the PR team did not get the truth or the full facts. I guess when a person is toxic, they will always be toxic and spin whatever story to make themselves [feel] right. Throwing Samantha under the bus to say she never [stated] the contract is really weird if what Samantha posted was the truth. Either Sylvia is not aware of the contract talks or she lied. I am curious to see what she comments on it.”[39]

Must Share News published an exposé on Sylvia’s misdeeds (19 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 19 October 2021, local news outlet Must Share News published an article to further expose Sylvia's employee abuse in NOC.[40] The piece was written in conjunction with a group of former and existing NOC staff, including managers, video editors, producers, and popular YouTube talents.

According to the article, the staff had been “fighting an internal battle” on whether they should tell their stories or stay silent.[40] The following is a breakdown of the exposé.

Staff received an email that demanded their compliance[edit | edit source]

Excerpt from page 1 of Sylvia’s letter (dated 11 October 2021). Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 11 October 2021, both former and existing NOC artistes and employees received an email signed by Sylvia.[40] The email demanded them to avoid making external communications unless they have received written consent from NOC. They were also forbidden to say or do anything that could “prejudice or damage” the company’s reputation.

Heavy pressure and abusive language in NOC[edit | edit source]

Must Share News went on to state that it had reviewed documents dating from October 2020 to October 2021, which showed that 54 staff resigned during this period.[40] This was attributed to Sylvia’s draconian and overbearing style of leadership in NOC, which had partially been exposed by @sgcickenrice.

Audio threat to a videographer[edit | edit source]

The first incident brought up by the article was with relation to Bryant Lee, one of NOC’s lead videographers. He had allegedly received a threatening audio message from Sylvia, where he was told he had “30 minutes before the whole world crashes on [him] and he f*cking [died].”[41]

When Bryant received the message, he had been working on a video for NOC’s charitable #SGPAYSITFORWARD campaign. However, he was unable to deliver the final product to COVID-19-induced delays.[40]

Former lead executive producer Felicia commented on the incident, relating it to the pressure to deliver in the overall workplace:

“We wore so many hats all at once. But at the same time, we were expected to be everywhere all at once. Just an example of what we face daily… We need to reply to her within the first few minutes.”[40]

Female employee chided for giving Sylvia “a face”[edit | edit source]

In another incident, one employee shared that Sylvia had singled out a young girl on her team, instructing her to “stop giving me that face” while writing a script.[40] This led to the girl setting up a mirror on her desk with a post-it note that had the words “Don’t give that face” written on it.

Sylvia’s excessive usage of the f*ck word to express her anger and dissatisfaction[edit | edit source]
Sylvia allegedly used the f*ck word to insult her employees. Screenshot from Must Share News.

The staff who attended the interview shared a number of screenshots which clearly showed Sylvia using the f*ck word across a variety of work chats. The word was always used in a derogatory fashion, with variations including “f*cking ugly”, “f*cking shitty actress”, and “What the f*ck kind of garbage f*ckshit is this?”.[40]

Sylvia’s punctuality issues[edit | edit source]

Sylvia was also alleged to have had issues with being punctual for shoots. She was often late, sometimes by up to 2-3 hours, and even had a number of missed rehearsals.[40] As a result, the staff had to pick up the slack and make excuses for her absence. Filming delays were also common, with staff having to extend their working hours as well.

Spike in employee abuse during shoots[edit | edit source]

Sylvia was accused of being especially abusive when she was working on shoots.[40] When the talents were initially introduced to Sylvia during kNOCk Out, she allegedly screamed “Is this the energy you want to give us?” to them. Nicole Liel, one of the participants at the time, recalled being singled out and screamed at in the fourth episode.

Nicole went on to divulge that she became anxious from the experience, trembling and losing her appetite even after the shoot ended for the day.[40] This was confirmed by Samantha Tan in a separate setting.

Nicole and producer Isabelle later recalled that Sylvia shouted “shut the f*ck up” at a group for being too loud before throwing a water bottle at them.[40] Ex-employee Preston Yep corroborated this incident, and even said that the bottle hit one of the crew members.

Preston proceeded to share that he was instructed to assist the crew whenever he was available.[40] However, at one point, Sylvia needed tissue paper and aggressively asked him: “Where the f*ck are you? You are my PA (personal assistant). Why are you helping the crew?”

When he later assumed the role of project manager at NOC, Preston claimed that abusive terms like “f*cking useless” and “f*cking retard” were used on him.[40]

Sylvia’s alleged favouritism in the company[edit | edit source]

Sylvia was said to make life difficult for anyone who failed to get on her good side at NOC.[40] Felicia divulged that it was hard to determine how to consistently remain in Sylvia’s good books, with many talents falling out of favour for different reasons:

“Perhaps they questioned transparency. Perhaps they spoke up for themselves too directly. Perhaps she stopped liking how they were. You never know why, you never know when. There was no discussion. You don’t stand a chance to rectify things.”[40]

Felicia went on to describe the working environment as unsafe, with no avenue for creative and responsible expression.[40] There was also unequal access to tools for success.

Signed talents who were “blacklisted” by Sylvia would find themselves left out of videos, shoots, and advertising kits even though their contracts were still active.[40]

NOC’s September 2021 media kit. Image from Must Share News.

According to NOC’s September 2021 media kit, active talents like Samantha, Isabelle, Nicole, Grace, and Chantalle were not featured.[40] Isabelle shared that she did not know of her exclusion until a client reached out to her.

Mental health was not a priority at NOC[edit | edit source]

Many of the NOC staff related that their mental health suffered immensely from their time with NOC.[40] Felicia shared that individual instances of mental abuse eventually culminated into “emotional and psychological duress” for many of her teammates:

“My teammates questioned their self-worth. I’ve stayed up so many nights with crying teammates, doubting their sanity, their purpose, wondering if they are being ‘over-sensitive’, are they actually being humiliated or is this just…normal? Whether [Sylvia] is right, whether they are useless.”[40]

Sylvia allegedly insulted an employee’s mental breakdown. Screenshots from Must Share News.

On one occasion, Sylvia was allegedly seen to refer to an employee as “useless” after they sent two messages that read like a mental breakdown at 1am.[40]

Sylvia apparently sent her employees work messages at midnight during Singapore’s circuit breaker period. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Sylvia was also accused of sending work messages to her employees well past official working hours into the early morning.[40] Bryant also shared that he was set unrealistic deadlines, at one point expected to shoot a main video and ten short-form videos in one day. This required the team to stay up to 5am to edit videos during the circuit breaker period.

Ex-talent was diagnosed with clinical anxiety due to her work with NOC[edit | edit source]

Ex-talent Michelle claimed that four years after quitting NOC, she was still on medication and mood stabilisers.[40] These were used to treat the anxiety she apparently developed from working at NOC. Michelle was eventually diagnosed with depression, which Sylvia apparently downplayed:

“Do you think you’re the only one depressed in the company? Ryan is also depressed, Ryan wants to kill himself. Everyone who’s diagnosed wants to kill themselves, you’re not the only one.”[40]

Michelle went on to talk about a small error she made during a shoot with Contour & Highlight, where she had to write an apology letter to Sylvia.[40] She confided in her colleagues, but when Sylvia found out, she was scolded.

Michelle’s contractual terms with Contour & Highlight were also repeatedly reneged, with payment for her work said to have been withheld for one year.[40] Michelle said that all these incidents took a toll on her, causing her to have suicidal thoughts on several occasions.

No official human resources (HR) department[edit | edit source]

NOC apparently did not have an official HR department to look after its employees’ needs.[40] Instead, the employees shared that co-founder Ryan Tan was “NOC’s unofficial HR department”, acting as the mediator and barrier between them and Sylvia.

According to Felicia, Ryan’s ability to mediate ended when “things turned nasty” following his divorce with Sylvia:

“At some point, he couldn’t do more than he already did because whatever he tried to defend, or whoever he tried to speak for, just got marked further with a bull’s eye.”[40]

After Ryan’s departure from NOC, the employees said that they started an initiative to create an anonymous feedback form to help Sylvia understand the impact of her actions.[40] However, nothing came from the initiative, with the form eventually dismissed.

Staff forced to pick a side[edit | edit source]

Following Sylvia’s public divorce from Ryan, Felicia shared that the staff were forced to be either “for or against her”, contradicting Sylvia and Ryan’s promise to be close business partners.[40] She went on to share that she was targeted because she had taken sides with Ryan in a previous meeting.

According to Felicia, Sylvia and another employee had arranged an appraisal with her out of the blue.[40] Ryan could not attend the meeting, and Felicia was eventually presented with two choices: a demotion and a pay cut with more responsibilities or a resignation. Felicia chose to resign.

Felicia said that she later learned that the appraisal was “pre-planned” to remove her due to her choice to take Ryan’s side.[40]

Delay of salary payouts for up to a year[edit | edit source]

Grace attempted to understand why she was getting a smaller cut. Screenshots from Must Share News.

Sylvia was also accused of not being transparent with the amount or percentage cut that was paid out to NOC’s talents.[40] There was allegedly no consistency in the percentage cut that NOC took for the talents’ work, which ranged from double to almost all. Vague reasons were given for the inconsistencies, such as a “loading fee.” NOC talent Rachel even received just 10% of the full amount for a job.

Grace chased payment for talenting work. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Transparency issues aside, Rachel and other talents like Grace, Gabriel, Nicole, and Samantha had their payments withheld from them for long periods of time.[40] Some employees apparently left the company without receiving payments, with others “giving up” entirely.

Former and current NOC staff created a blog to further smear Sylvia (19-20 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

From 19-20 October 2021, a group of former and current NOC employees came together to create a blog under the URL “endthesilence.blogspot.com” to further incriminate Sylvia.[42][43][44] The blog’s introduction explained why it was started:

“We would like to put out a disclaimer that we have exhausted all means of trying to get our voices heard in NOC by talking to key members of the management team as appointed by Sylvia - such as Sylvia herself, the accountant, her lawyers (neither do we understand why are they involving themselves with us directly but we tried [to]), and more but to no avail.”[45]

As of 7 November 2021, the blog has been taken down and its URL cannot be used for new blogs.[46] Below is a breakdown of the blog’s allegations against Sylvia:

Sylvia misappropriated NOC’s funds for her brother’s permanent resident (PR) status and her side business[edit | edit source]

Sylvia allegedly asked for Sikeen to be placed on NOC’s payroll as part of his PR application. Screenshot from Girl Style.

Sylvia was alleged to have misused NOC’s funds to help her brother Sikeen obtain his PR status in Singapore on 7 June 2021.[42] In a WhatsApp conversation with one of NOC’s finance staff, she allegedly asked that Sikeen be “placed on the payroll so he [could] apply for PR.” She also requested for Sikeen’s pay to be raised from SGD2,800 to SGD3,000 and backdated to May to “facilitate his PR application.”

Sikeen’s payslip showed that he drew a salary although he did not do work for NOC. Screenshot from Girl Style.

The blog also published a screenshot of Sikeen’s payslip, which revealed that he drew a salary despite not working for NOC.[42] According to the payslip, Sikeen had drawn a salary of SGD3,500 from April to June 2021, with the amount increasing to SGD4,500 from July to September.

The blog went on to reveal that Sylvia also attempted to misappropriate company funds for a side chilli business she planned to start under Food King’s name.[42] She had reached out to a “potential business partner” named Edmond Ng, to whom she claimed that NOC’s Food King team was aware of her side chilli business plans. Edmond later refuted her claims as a private conversation with Ryan revealed that no one was aware of the plans.

The plan did not move forward and Edmond was not compensated for the time he spent advising Sylvia.[42]

Sylvia allegedly manipulated NOC talent to have sex with a client for free courier services[edit | edit source]

The blog alleged that while Sylvia was working on launching her chilli side business, she arranged for the founder of an unnamed local courier company to have sex with an NOC talents in exchange for free courier services.[42]

Sylvia had apparently arranged a drinking session with a few NOC talents and the founder.[42] An unnamed Talent A was then allegedly  manipulated into having sex with the founder:

“Talent A had no idea that there was an underlying agenda to the meeting. Eventually after a few drinks, Talent A was intoxicated and performed sexual intercourse with the founder of the courier company”[42]

Following this incident, Sylvia was said to have secured the logistics she required from the courier company.[42]

Sylvia allegedly cheated on Ryan while he was overseas[edit | edit source]

Sylvia had allegedly performed fellatio on an unidentified man. Screenshots from Hardware Zone.

In a WhatsApp exchange that dates back to 14-15 January 2020, Sylvia allegedly shared intimate details of her sexual encounter with an unidentified man.[42] She apparently mentioned that she “[needed] that D once more”, going on to describe the man’s penis as “fat and big.”

The blog mentioned that the text exchange occurred when Ryan was in Taiwan.[42] According to Girl Style, the incident very likely happened while the couple was separated as they only publicly announced their divorce on 31 May 2020.

Sylvia called Ryan and Dee Kosh f*cking egoistic and poor[edit | edit source]

Sylvia allegedly used derogatory language to describe Ryan and Dee Kosh. Screenshot from Hype.

The blog also shared a WhatsApp screenshot dated 21 September 2018, in which Sylvia is observed to proclaim that she hated her ex-husband Ryan Tan and former NOC talent Dee Kosh.[47] The f*ck word was used a total of five times in a sustained chain of messages, with variations including “f*cking egoistic”, “f*cking want to be well loved” and “f*cking poor without me.”

The message chain tapered off with Sylvia allegedly gloating over the fact that Ryan would become her staff after she divorced him.[47]

Sylvia fat-shamed Preetipls in a WhatsApp exchange[edit | edit source]

Sylvia apparently made derogatory comments about Preetipls’ body over WhatsApp. Screenshots from The Independent.

In an undated WhatsApp exchange with an unnamed NOC staff, Sylvia appeared to be disgruntled over the fact that the staff had privately reached out to local influencer Preetipls to discuss her costume sizing.[48][49]

She proceeded to remark that Preetipls was “clearly fat” before blatantly calling her a “fu*king rhinoceros.”[48] Sylvia subsequently instructed the staff to get Preetipls to “take the garbage bag” if she could not fit into her outfit.

Video recordings of Sylvia’s behaviour and responses in a few Zoom meetings[edit | edit source]

Apart from the series of incriminating screenshots that it uploaded, the blog also uploaded a few video recordings of Sylvia’s poor etiquette and behaviour during professional Zoom meetings.[43] Originally uploaded on YouTube, the video recording has since been taken down (as of 7 November 2021).[50]

One of the video recordings was reuploaded by alternative news site Wake Up Singapore on 19 October 2021.[51]

The first video recording[edit | edit source]
Sylvia smirked in response to a question that was directed to her during a Zoom meeting. Screenshot from AsiaOne.

The first video recording began with an employee sharing the stress she had endured over NOC’s lack of manpower and the heavy workload she and her team had to juggle.[43] Sylvia maintained a nonchalant attitude in response to the complaint and could be seen smirking as she typed on her keyboard.

The recording then switched to a different Zoom meeting where Ryan could be heard confronting Sylvia about “stirring sh*t” by claiming that “someone” in the company had called him an incompetent leader.[43] When he pressed Sylvia on the identity of this person, she refused to reveal it at first, later stating that she was the one who though he was a bad leader.

The argument got more heated after this point, resulting in Ryan leaving the call.[43] Sylvia then asked two other employees, Isabelle and Bryant, to replace him as project manager. When they both refused, Sylvia ordered them to leave the call.

The second video recording[edit | edit source]
Sylvia used her phone during a Zoom meeting with Ryan and the NOC team. Screenshot from Facebook.

The second video recording opened on Ryan confronting Sylvia on late payments and long working hours that stretched as far as 4am.[43] Throughout Ryan’s attempt to seek clarifications from Sylvia, she maintained the same nonchalant attitude from the previous recording, repeatedly using her phone every now and then.

It was only when Ryan directly questioned her management style that Sylvia responded with the following:

“The problems that you think you’re speaking out for on behalf of a lot of staff…let me know how we can move forward about my management style so that we can all be a happier team with higher morale.”[43]

Preetipls responded to Sylvia’s alleged fat-shaming comments (19-20 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Preetipls posted a photo of herself with three rhinoceros emojis in an Instagram story. Screenshot from Must Share News.

In response to Sylvia’s alleged fat-shaming comments, Preetipls shared a photo of herself along with three rhinoceros emojis on an Instagram story.[48] She also shared the WhatsApp screenshots on Twitter, pointing out that Sylvia was “the face of mental health but [said] sh*t like this.”[52]

Preetipls promoted her “RHINO” code on social media. Screenshot from Twitter.

Preetipls later generated the code “RHINO” for her Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok followers to get free shipping on all orders that they placed on her online merchandise store.[53][54][55]

Sylvia filed police reports and a Magistrate’s Complaint (21 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Sylvia sent information about her police reports and Magistrate’s Complaint to Wake Up Singapore. Image from Facebook.

On 21 October 2021, Sylvia emailed Wake Up Singapore with a statement that she had filed police reports and a Magistrate’s Complaint in a bid to refute the allegations made against her.[56][57] In the statement, Sylvia claimed that there has been a “concerted and coordinated effort to discredit and disparage” her on the following counts:

  • Death threats
  • Hacking of emails
  • Harassment
  • Loss of access to NOC’s financial systems and records
  • Sex video

She went on to state that the evidence was “skillfully edited” to leave out certain parts and paint a false narrative for public consumption.[56][57] She claimed to have the full documents that would serve as evidence, stating that she had not shared them as “the full facts could prejudice the person(s) spearheading the campaign.”

Sylvia also shared that she had been locked out of NOC’s financial system by the Board of NOC.[56][57]

The Thirsty Sisters podcast videos were removed from YouTube (21 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

The Thirsty Sisters YouTube channel had been wiped. Screenshot from Must Share News.

On 21 October 2021, Must Share News unveiled that The Thirsty Sisters, a podcast hosted by Sylvia and talent Nina, had removed all videos from its YouTube channel.[58]

As of 7 November 2021, all videos have been reinstated on the channel.[59]

Ryan exposed for making malicious comments about talents (23 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 23 October 2021, Wake Up Singapore shared two screenshots of WhatsApp messages that were allegedly sent to them by “someone close to both Sylvia and Ryan.”[60]

The anonymous leaker urged Wake Up Singapore to present both sides of the case, believing that it was only fair that “both parties are blamed.”[60] They also mentioned that Ryan was still a director at NOC and had been active in its management over the years.

The screenshots saw Ryan allegedly directing harsh comments at two former NOC employees, Michelle and Aylna.[60] He expressed a desire to “kill [Aylna] off” and “torture [Michelle] until she f*cking just kill herself.”

Ryan’s apology statement. Screenshot from Instagram.

An hour after the text messages were shared, Ryan issued an apology post on his Instagram account.[61] In the post, he explained the context of the messages, stating that he sent them to Sylvia after he was led to believe that some talents had planned to leave NOC and start a competing channel.

Ryan affirmed that he had apologised to Michelle and Aylna, admitting that it was “wrong to have sent [those] messages.”[61] He also clarified that he was in the midst of an ongoing legal dispute with Sylvia.

Ryan went on to confirm that he was still NOC’s director despite his attempt to resign.[61] Furthermore, up till the week before he published this post, he had been separated from the company’s daily operations. He ended off by noting that “[it] is time for accountability.”

Xiaxue interviewed Sylvia to get her side of the story (24 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Xiaxue interviewed Sylvia to get her side of the story. Screenshot from YouTube.

On 24 October 2021, Xiaxue published a video interview titled “EXCLUSIVE: NOC’s Sylvia Breaks Silence” with Sylvia on her YouTube channel.[62] Spanning 1 hour 47 minutes 13 seconds, the video sought to present Sylvia’s side of the case in an objective manner.

In the description box of the video, Xiaxue added a link to a Google Drive folder that compiled all the screenshot receipts mentioned during the interview.[63]

The following is a breakdown of the key points and allegations raised during the course of the interview, as summarised by Must Share News and The Independent.[64][65][66][67]

Allegations that NOC’s employees were overworked[edit | edit source]

To address this point, Xiaxue asked Sylvia who was in charge of making talents stay late.[64] Sylvia responded by saying that the “media industry in general has very flexible timing.”

Sylvia also said that working late was commonplace to ensure clients’ demands were met.[64] She gave an example of a client expecting subtitles for a project due for release the next day. She thus felt it was unfair for her to be blamed as it was her job to ensure that projects were completed on time.

Xiaxue then said Sylvia could protect her staff by managing clients’ expectations on timelines.[64] She also asked Sylvia if she gave unrealistic timelines. Sylvia replied that there were tight and relaxed seasons in the media industry, stating that “it’s a give and a take.”

Xiaxue went on to ask Sylvia about her reputation as the NOC “big boss” who could not be overruled while Ryan apparently had no power by contrast.[64] Sylvia asserted that their roles were clearly divided, and that her job was to identify the most profitable verticals.

Sylvia also said that she did not hold the “real purse strings of the company”, claiming that the “sole authority” rested on Ryan the director.[64] She also apparently could not sign cheques and did not own any bank tokens, and neither was her name in the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA).

Sylvia’s burnout from Ryan’s suicidal tendencies[edit | edit source]

At the 36-minute mark of the interview, Xiaxue got Sylvia to respond to the allegations of workplace abuse against her.[65] Sylvia divulged that writing the day she wrote the public apology letter was the hardest day of her life. She then said that she had played the “bad cop” role for a long time, which transformed her into a terrible person.

Sylvia then related that she had chain-smoked at some point in 2020, going through two cigarette packs a day.[65] She eventually had a self-awakening moment and went for therapy at the start of 2021. According to her, this was why confronting the allegations and writing the apology was difficult as she was no longer “Sylvia version shit”.

Sylvia proceeded to justify her “bad cop” role, claiming that she assumed it to protect NOC and Ryan.[65] She said that Ryan was an emotional person who needed to be protected when he was hurt or angry. When there was a need to scold an errant employee, Sylvia performed the task to protect his position as the “good cop”.

Sylvia’s alleged WhatsApp conversation with Ryan on his desire to commit suicide. Screenshot from Must Share News.

The conversation then became a deep dive into Sylvia’s marriage and relationship with Ryan.[65] Xiaxue brought up Ryan’s suicidal tendencies, which prompted Sylvia to reveal that he had attempted to commit suicide “so so so many times”. She corroborated this claim with screenshots of their WhatsApp conversations.

Sylvia also said that their close friends were also part of what she called a “Ryan suicide watch”.[65] Sylvia is observed to become emotional as she went on to confide that there were days when she ran around her home thinking that Ryan had committed suicide and blamed herself for not protecting him.

Sylvia ended off by hesitatingly saying that she felt “very manipulated” and trapped by Ryan’s suicidal tendencies.[65]

Sylvia’s unhappy marriage with Ryan[edit | edit source]

Sylvia spoke of her marriage with Ryan, which she said had never been a happy one.[67] She said the following about the marriage:

“We never had a happy marriage because he has had something to do with the girls in NOC. That’s why I’ve always kept my silence because I’m going to implicate the whole world.”[67]

She went on to speak of Ryan’s many “best friends” in the company, most of whom were female talents he favoured.[67] She also claimed that he had told her off publicly for being harsh with a talent.

Sylvia said that she tolerated Ryan’s behaviour as wanted to maintain their public image as the “golden couple” on social media.[67] She also alleged that Ryan had cheated on her with a waitress who worked at a restaurant he owned before NOC. This apparently happened while Sylvia helped out at the restaurant for free.

Sylvia also claimed that Ryan had always sent the waitress home or gave her rides to other locations.[67] This was part of Ryan’s larger behaviour pattern, where he often sent female talents home at night. Sylvia also noted that he would get upset with her if she asked to accompany him on these rides.

Alleged lawsuit between Sylvia and Ryan[edit | edit source]

Sylvia clarified that there were no ongoing lawsuits as alleged.[66] She admitted that there was an ongoing dispute over Reno King, which began as a series on NOC’s YouTube channel. She claimed that Ryan had registered Reno King as an independent company in April 2021 without her knowledge.

Sylvia believed that Reno King should still be part of NOC as Ryan had apparently been using company assets for the series.[66] She also said that there was no trust between them as business partners. This eventually led to her sending him a lawyer’s letter to accuse him of breaching his fiduciary duties as a company director. According to Sylvia,

“This whole fight with me started because Ryan wants an exit from NOC. He wants me to buy him out at a high price that will not let my company be able to run,” noting that the amount is in the “millions”.”[66]

Ryan is still NOC’s director[edit | edit source]

Ryan requested for his resignation to be backdated to 8 May 2021 on 11 October 2021. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Although Ryan claimed that he had stepped down as NOC’s director, Sylvia said that he was still the sole director of the company.[66] She went on to say that he had emailed NOC’s secretary to backdate his resignation to 8 May 2021. Sylvia believed Ryan did the backdating to ensure there would be no breach of fiduciary duties when he set up a separate Reno King office from NOC.

Claims of a smear campaign[edit | edit source]

Sylvia spoke of the suspects behind @sgcickenrice as well.[66] She emphasised the possibility of there being a coordinated effort to completely tarnish her reputation. Sylvia named at least four people whom she believed were responsible for the leaks, including Michelle, Grace, Nicole, and Edmond.

She emphasised that somebody had something to gain from smearing her reputation, although she did not clarify what this gain was.[66]

A “smear campaign” would negatively impact NOC[edit | edit source]

Sylvia expressed her belief that Ryan would benefit from the “smear campaign”.[66] She said the following:

“Let’s say NOC is worth $10. Ryan has 49%, so I must pay him $4.90 to buy him out. So if NOC is in deep shit, our stock values go down to $5. Now our shares are worth half the money.”[66]

As the smear campaign would destroy her reputation, Sylvia believed she would be expected to step down as the CEO.[66] She then said that Ryan would be able to buy her out at half the price under the justification that she was an unworthy leader.

Sylvia also revealed that within the first week of @sgcickenrice’s accusations, NOC lost at least SGD250,000 worth of deals, which impacted her ability to pay her employees’ salaries.[66]

Sylvia’s role as a mental health advocate[edit | edit source]

The question of Sylvia’s role as a mental health advocate was brought up, as the allegations branded her a hypocrite in light of her workplace behaviour.[66]

Sylvia did not directly answer the question, stating that she was an advocate as she wanted to learn to be better.[66] She said that “doesn’t mean I’m perfect, so I advocate.”

Accusations of not being punctual[edit | edit source]

Sylvia admitted that she was not punctual, but only at the start of her career.[66] She said that she had since learned that it negatively affected her employees and clients. She went on to say that she had tried to be better and was not typically late anymore.

Sylvia’s brother’s work at NOC[edit | edit source]

Sylvia refuted allegations that her brother Sikeen had been drawing a salary without doing work for NOC.[66] She emphasised that he “has always worked in NOC” since day 1 as a talent and had also assumed other roles like producer and props manager.

Sylvia also accused Ryan of disliking Sikeen, which prompted her to get him to work in NOC’s other office.[66] She then maintained that the accounting was correct because Sikeen was actually working unlike what the allegations suggested.

Accusation of sex barter trade[edit | edit source]

Sylvia insisted that the accusation was false, asserting that “there was no barter and there was no trade”.[66] She also said that she had never asked any logistics company to send anything on her behalf.

The drinking meeting apparently did take place, but Sylvia said that it was merely her “[introducing] girlfriends to rich guys” as the logistics company founder had invited her to party at a wealthy male friend’s place.[66] Sylvia claimed that Talent A had told her “the night was fun” but did not know who she slept with.

Sylvia also addressed the chilli venture, stating that it ultimately failed to materialise.[66]

Sylvia’s mental health[edit | edit source]

On the subject of Sylvia’s mental health, Xiaxue asked her if she was receiving any support.[66] Sylvia divulged that she felt like she had been backstabbed by people whom she thought she could trust and had given careers to.

She ended by saying that she saw this as an opportunity to “spring clean” and only stick with people she can trust and love.[66]

Thirsty Sisters podcast content was taken down[edit | edit source]

Sylvia said that the Thirsty Sisters podcast content was removed to protect Nina, who had been targeted by her family for standing by Sylvia despite being Ryan’s cousin.[66]

Alleged sex video[edit | edit source]

On rumours of a sex video of Sylvia being leaked on social media, Sylvia revealed that she had watched it on repeat 10 times, asking herself “Is this even me?’[66] She even asked her close friends, who said it was not her due to a discrepancy in chest size.

Sylvia issued a second apology on Instagram (25 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 25 October 2021, Sylvia issued a second apology post on her Instagram account.[68] In her apology, she expressed regret for the “wrongs [she had] done, and the mistakes [she had] made” and would work with the relevant authorities:

“I am fully cooperating with workplace related authorities (MOM, TAFEP, CMPU) and I will continue to do so. I will be accountable for my actions.”[68]

In closing, she asked to be given the “time and space to settle things privately with the relevant parties” and comply with the government bodies she mentioned. Sylvia also asked to be given the opportunity to become a better person and leader.

Tan took down all his posts and renamed the @sgcickenrice account (27 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Tan’s final post on @sgcickenrice, now @baerendang1. Screenshot from Instagram.

On 27 October 2021, Tan removed all posts from the @sgcickenrice account and posted a single update stating that the account “will not be posting any further on NOC.”[69] The post also mentioned that it was “doing this voluntarily” and asked for “all parties involved [to] solve their issues amicably and move on with their lives.”

Ryan affirms that he is not involved with @sgcickenrice and #EndTheSilence (27 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Opening statement[edit | edit source]

On 27 October 2021, Ryan posted an update on his Instagram account to assert that he was uninvolved with @sgcickenrice and #EndTheSilence.[70] Stating that he had “refused to disclose any personal communications”, he was “heartbroken” that the “same courtesy” was not shown to him.

He also expressed “distraught” over Sylvia claiming that he had “threatened suicide to manipulate her”, stating that it was not her story to tell.[70]

Ryan then went on to claim that “many lies were peddled during the interview” but maintained that he did not want to bring up any more personal issues.[70]

Apparent departure from NOC[edit | edit source]

From the beginning of NOC, Ryan had been the sole director of the company.[70] Sylvia could not be given this appointment as she was not a Singaporean citizen. Despite this, Ryan claimed that Sylvia was the “de facto director” and they had different responsibilities to fulfil.

Ryan produced receipts alleging Sylvia’s wrongdoings. Screenshots from Instagram.

Ryan proceeded to share that when he attempted to address employees’ complaints about Sylvia’s management, it “did not sit well with [her]”.[70] She apparently informed NOC’s finance manager that Ryan was no longer the chief operating officer (COO) and hence no longer needed to report to him.

Ryan claimed that he ran into conflict with Sylvia, culminating in his eventual decision to leave.[70] He said that he came to an agreement with her on 8 May 2021.

Claimed that the Reno King company was set up with Sylvia’s knowledge[edit | edit source]

Ryan shared WhatsApp screenshots alleging Sylvia pushing for Reno King to be finalised. Screenshots from Instagram.

Ryan directly refuted Sylvia’s claim that he had set up the Reno King company without her knowledge.[70] Going on to say that he “did not misuse NOC’s funds for Reno King”, Ryan insisted Sylvia had been aware of his intentions to set up Reno King as far back as 29 April 2021.

Ryan claimed that Sylvia had even asked him to “quickly incorporate the company and to close the case”.[70]  He also said that Reno King had its own payroll and set-up.

Sylvia allegedly denied the agreement on Reno King[edit | edit source]

Ryan also shared that he had forged an agreement with Sylvia that 20% of Reno King’s profits would be paid to her or NOC on 8 May 2021.[70] Under this agreement, Ryan claimed that he would stop drawing a salary from NOC and instead focus entirely on Reno King.

However, Ryan alleged that the agreement fell through as Sylvia had apparently denied making this agreement with him.[70]

On the same day, Ryan claimed that he and Sylvia had agreed that she would buy some of his NOC shares and make him a 20% shareholder.[70] While he did not disclose an amount, he said that it was not the “millions” that Sylvia claimed in her interview with Xiaxue.

Ryan had also agreed to resign as sole director and relinquish his day-to-day duties with NOC.[70] However, Sylvia apparently did not want to become a director. As leaving the role unfilled was illegal, Ryan claimed he had no choice but to resume his position as director against his will.

As the director, Ryan said that he informed NOC’s finance manager to take instructions from both Sylvia and him.[70] He believed that this was reasonable in light of the allegations that he had misused company funds.

Claimed Sylvia was insidious and denied him a salary[edit | edit source]

In an unrelated vein, Ryan claimed that Sylvia had “demanded” NOC’s finance manager to grant ‘Daniel’ access to the company’s accounts.[70] He said that although he offered to interview ‘Daniel’ to determine his suitability for the role and asked for his CV, he received no response.

Ryan went on to claim that from mid-2017 to 2019, his salary was credited to a joint account he had held with Sylvia.[70] He said that Sylvia prevented him from making withdrawals from this account.

Insisted that he did not hack Sylvia’s accounts[edit | edit source]

Ryan wrapped up the post by saying that he did not hack any of Sylvia’s email accounts.[70] He also stated that he did not know her passwords or pin code to her house office. Ryan said that while he had used keys to access the house while he renovated it, he had since returned them to Sylvia.

On the subject of recording Zoom meetings, Ryan said that he had only recorded one.[70] This was one dated 8 May 2021, where he and Sylvia attempted to work out their agreement. He went on to claim that the meeting recording that appeared on #EndTheSilence was not from him.

Closing statement[edit | edit source]

In closing, Ryan said that he was “tired” and wanted a clean break so that he could continue producing videos and be “fairly compensated”.[70]

“I just hope that one day Sylvia reveals what she offered to pay me in exchange for all my shares in NOC and 2 other NOC-related entities and what she proposed for Reno King.”[70]

@sgcickenrice was exposed by Xiaxue on TikTok (29 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Introduction[edit | edit source]

On 29 October 2021, Xiaxue posted a video on TikTok to expose Brandon as the anonymous user behind the @sgcickenrice.[2] Before revealing her findings, Xiaxue asserted that she was not on the side of “f*cking cancel culture”, going on to establish her hatred for anonymous accounts:

“I just really hate all of these anonymous accounts. They have so much power, OK? Everyone wants to follow [these accounts] because they want to hear about gossip and they have free rein to post whatever they want and suffer zero consequences for it. There’s nothing you can do because they’re anonymous. You can’t sue them, you can’t report them to the police, and they’re just hiding behind their anonymity to say whatever the h*ll they want.”[2]

Dug out Brandon’s profile picture from one of @sgcickenrice’s first videos[edit | edit source]

A screenshot that Xiaxue shared in her video. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Xiaxue’s first clue was embedded in one of @sgcickenrice’s first TikTok videos.[2] Sharing the above screenshot, she directed her viewers’ attention to the bottom of the screen, where the profile picture of the TikTok user who recorded the clip is visible.

Although Xiaxue said that the video was taken down and reuploaded without the profile picture, she and her team were still able to identify the user.[2] She went on to reveal that she had met Brandon once during an NOC shoot, sharing a group photo she took with him and a few other people.

Xiaxue shared a group photo with Tan in it. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Xiaxue refrained from saying that Brandon was @sgcickenrice.[2] Instead, she expressed feigned interest over the appearance of his photo in the screenshot.

Drew connections from Brandon’s love of chicken rice and use of the slang word “bussin’”[edit | edit source]

@sgcickenrice and Brandon had a penchant for using “bussin’”. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Xiaxue identified that both @sgcickenrice and Brandon had a common catchword: “bussin’”.[2] She also drew connections between both accounts’ common love for chicken rice.

@sgcickenrice and Brandon have a common love for chicken rice. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Xiaxue also pointed out that Brandon had openly mocked Sylvia on his @baerendang account ever since the allegations first surfaced, indicating that he did not like her from the start.[2] She ended off by stating that Brandon seemed to be close friends with Nicole, who was in turn friends with Samantha and Isabelle. All three women were involved in the saga.

Brandon publicly admitted that he was behind @sgcickenrice (29 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

On 29 October 2021, Brandon created a post on his Instagram account @baerendang to publicly admit his involvement with @sgcickenrice.[71]

Started @sgcickenrice as a response to his friends’ grievances with NOC[edit | edit source]

According to Brandon, he started @sgcickenrice in September 2021 in response to his NOC friends’ ill treatment at work.[71] He said that he corroborated their experiences with NOC’s Glassdoor page, where other people had left negative reviews commenting on the company’s alleged issues. He thus “felt a moral obligation to speak up”.

Intended to highlight NOC’s toxic work culture[edit | edit source]

Brandon claimed that @sgcickenrice started out siding with the NOC employees, specifically targeting Ryan and Sylvia to get them to be accountable.[71] @sgcickenrice apparently had a “simple” goal:

“Demand fair wages, timely payment, and equitable treatment.”[71]

However, Brandon said that “things got messy” and he found himself “becoming a pawn.”[71] He quoted Preetipls in his post, saying that he and other NOC employees had become “collateral damage” in a fight over assets involving “2 powerful and rich adults’.

Brandon said this led him to begin doubting some of the narratives he was told.[71] He thus took a step back as he felt that @sgcickenrice was starting to move away from its initial focus.

Called for Singaporeans to speak up about workplace issues[edit | edit source]

In closing, Brandon apologised for his naivete and promised to take full responsibility for his actions on @sgcickenrice.[71] He asked netizens to spare the NOC employees and assist them to “demand justice and accountability from ALL parties involved.”

Brandon also mentioned that while running @sgcickenrice, he learnt that the workplace abuse faced by the NOC staff was commonplace in Singapore, with many others sharing their experiences with “less than ideal bosses”.[71]

Samantha Tan announced her resignation from NOC (30 Oct 2021)[edit | edit source]

Opening statement[edit | edit source]

On 30 October 2021, Samantha posted a series of Instagram stories on her personal account to make a final statement on the saga.[72][73] According to her, the saga had taken a huge toll on her and the “hate comments gave [her] a lot of distress.” Going on to say that she had not “received much hate virtually and in life”, the saga was thus a “very new and daunting experience” for her.[72]

While Samantha said that she initially did not want to make a statement, she eventually decided to do so for “closure”.[72]

Said that she had never released screenshots[edit | edit source]

Samantha claimed that she had never released screenshots of her own. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Samantha began her clarifications by stating that she had never leaked any screenshots, sharing an “archive of what [she]posted since the start of the saga.”[72] She asserted that she was just a talent at NOC and not one of their full-time employees.

She clarified that her reason for posting the story in the above screenshot was because “people [she knew and didn’t know] were concerned that [she] was “attacked” or being “bullied”.”[72] She expressed embarrassment over the fact that “the public had to hear the audio note.”

Resignation from NOC[edit | edit source]

Samantha went on to reveal that she had already resigned from NOC on 3 October 2021, a few days before Brandon started posting the incriminating screenshots on @sgcickenrice.[72] While she mentioned “three other reasons” for her resignation, these went unclarified. Samantha ended this segment by stating that her exit interview would take place on 1 November 2021.

Addressed her refutation of Sylvia’s apology statement[edit | edit source]

Samantha explained that she felt compelled to refute Sylvia’s apology statement because “it didn’t sit well with [her].”[72] According to her, Sylvia’s claim that she had a “three year bond and could not win the grand prize” carried the insinuation that she “hid [her] contract on purpose” when she had already signed a full-time contract with NOC.

Samantha went on to say that she refuted the statement as a means of “stand[ing] up for [her]self” when netizens said that Sylvia calling her a “f*ckface” was justified.[72]

Samantha ended this segment by stating that Sylvia “might have treated [her] harshly or did not like [her] because of her own paranoia dealing with Ryan’s cheating.”[72]

Submitted a case to TAFEP[edit | edit source]

Samantha mentioned that she had submitted a case to the Tripartite Alliance for Fair and Progressive Employment Practices (TAFEP) to address her workplace harassment and delayed payments.[72]

Clarified a dinner she had with Sylvia and Ryan[edit | edit source]

Samantha proceeded to address a dinner she had with Sylvia and Ryan.[72] This was raised during Sylvia’s interview with Xiaxue, where she claimed that the dinner was Ryan’s idea and carried an underlying purpose.

Samantha explained the dinner she had with Ryan and Sylvia. Screenshot from Must Share News.

Samantha clarified that the dinner was Ryan’s attempt to introduce her to Sylvia in a bid that they would become friends and establish a healthy working relationship.[72] Samantha said that she rarely met Ryan and Sylvia after the dinner, only contacting them over WhatsApp “occasionally”.

Despite this, Samantha still looked forward to meeting Ryan and Sylvia and appreciated the support they gave her through NOC.[72]

Closing statement[edit | edit source]

In closing, Samantha cited a study done by Sorokowski, Kowal, Zdybek, and Oleszkiewicz on “Are Online Haters Psychopaths? Psychological Predictors of Online Hating Behaviour”[72] to “understand” the psychology behind the “Internet trolls” and “cyber-bullies” who had left hate comments throughout the saga.

She concluded by stating that “psychopathy was a significant predictor of posting hate comments online”.[72] She felt that the study provided her with “helpful information for [her] to rationalise why people behave a certain way.”

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