She had hired a maid to help care for her four children while she went to work. However, barely three months in, the maid and employer got into a physical altercation at home, which was captured on CCTV cameras within the flat. The police were also called in.
The 28-year-old employer, surnamed Hou, told Shin Min Daily News recently that she had employed the helper from Myanmar through an agency in June last year.
Hou’s main task for the maid was to care for Hou’s youngest child, aged three months at the time, as well as assist Hou’s mother-in-law in taking care of the other kids and the housework.
Hou, an admin personnel, indicated that even though the helper’s biodata had described her as being able to communicate in English and Mandarin, Hou found out that she had difficulty understanding simple terms 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.
But due to the constant miscommunication, the new helper and Hou often got into arguments, reported Shin Min.
Things came to a head, however, on Sept 11 last year when a quarrel between the two escalated into a fistfight in their flat located at Blk 638A Punggol Drive.
According to Hou, the argument had erupted over the three-month-old baby’s feeding schedule.
“After I complained to the agent, the latter called the helper to understand the situation better,” shared Hou.
However, Hou described the helper getting more 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 soon turned physical, and that was when Hou claimed the helper slapped her.
When the helper suddenly rushed back into the living room, Hou said she held on to the helper’s arm as she was worried for her kids’ safety.
Hou claimed that in the ensuing fracas, the helper had hit one of her children, hence, Hou retaliated by hitting back.
“As a mother, how can I see my child get hit and not do anything?” Hou told Shin Min.
“She also reached out to grab the rocker which my three-month-old was lying in, I pulled her hair to stop her and she scratched me,” Hou added.
Although the helper left the flat after Hou called the police, she later returned.
Following police investigations, Hou was served a conditional warning on Jan 17 for the intention to cause harm and was told she would face severe consequences if she were to re-offend within the period of 12 months.
Hou shared that the helper was also advised by the police about the incident, but it did not leave her with a criminal record.
“What I’m worried about is that she can continue to work for other employers,” said Hou, who has since hired a new helper after police investigations concluded.