Woman, 28, fights with helper over alleged assault on child at home, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Woman, 28, fights with helper over alleged assault on child at home

This article is more than 12 months old

After constant miscommunication between an employer and her maid, the two got into a physical altercation that was captured by CCTV cameras at home.

The 28-year-old employer, surnamed Hou, told Shin Min Daily News she hired the helper from Myanmar through an agency in June last year – mainly to help care for the youngest of her four children, who was three months old at the time.

Hou, an admin personnel, said the helper's bio had described her as communicative in English and Mandarin – but Hou said she had difficulty understanding simple terms and phrases such as “eating” and “taking a shower”.

As a result, Hou asked her previous helper to stay on for two more months to guide her.

Due to the constant miscommunication, the new helper and Hou often got into arguments, reported Shin Min.

Things came to a head on Sept 11, 2022, when a quarrel between the two escalated into a fistfight at their flat at Blk 638A Punggol Drive.

According to Hou, the argument was over the baby's feeding schedule.

"After I complained to the agent, the agent called the helper to understand the situation better," Hou said.

However, Hou said the helper got increasingly agitated as she spoke to the agent.

"Her voice was getting louder and louder and it scared the children. I asked her to lower her voice but she continued to shout," said Hou.

Frustrated, Hou said she took the phone away from the helper and asked her to take the call outside the flat.

The tussle over the phone at the doorway turned violent, and Hou claimed the helper slapped her.

Hou claimed that at one point, the helper rushed back into the living room and hit one of her children. Hou then retaliated by hitting her back.

"As a mother, how can I see my child get hit and not do anything?" she said.

"She also reached out to grab the rocker my three-month-old was lying in. I pulled her hair to stop her and she scratched me," Hou added.

CCTV footage showing the helper handling the employer's child.

The helper left the flat after Hou called the police.

According to AsiaOne, Hou was served with a conditional warning on Jan 17, following police investigations – for the intention to cause harm. 

She was told she would face severe consequences if she were to reoffend within 12 months. 

Hou said the helper was also “advised by the police” over the incident.

It is not clear if the maid has gone home to Myanmar or if she’s still in Singapore seeking employment.