An argument between a Singapore maid and her employer's son turned nasty, when she ended up pouring hot oil over the boy, and scalding him.
Singapore maid scalds employer's son
According to The Straits Times, the incident happened early this year at a Bukit Panjang flat, and it all started when Indonesian maid Sugianti got into an argument with her employer's teenage son.
It was breakfast time, and Sugianti was frying chicken wings. In the midst of conversation, she scolded the 14-year-old for spilling liquid on the floor 2 days back, thereby causing his older sister to slip and fall.
The teenager didn't take too kindly to her remarks and reacted by toppling a shelf used by Sugianti to keep her belongings. This angered the maid even more and the two ended up shouting at each other.
Afraid that she would complain about him to his father, the boy kept the belongings back in place.
When Sugianti continued to scold him, his anger got the better of him. He went into the kitchen, covered her mouth and pulled her hair.
According to Channel NewsAsia, the maid shook her frying pan at him, and called him "anak Satan", or "Devil's son" in Malay. This led to the boy scratching her face badly, leaving a mark.
Angered and vengeful, Sugianti picked up the frying pan, filled with hot oil and challenged the boy to a fight. The boy who was in the toilet by then, shouted at her to go away, but the maid was in no mood to forgive.
She poured hot oil on him, scalding his arm and leg.
The boy had to be taken to the polyclinic when his burns did not improve. His burns included a 50 cm by 10 cm burn on his right thigh. He has since then recovered.
The maid also got treated at Changi General Hospital for soreness on the back of her head and a claw mark under her right eye.
A police report was made against the maid.
Singapore maid scalds boy, gets jailed
On Dec 15, Sugianti was sentenced to a year's jail for attacking the teenager.
Though the teenager was partly to blame for the dispute gone wrong, the court was of the opinion that the maid should not have taken the law into her own hands.
According to Channel NewsAsia, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said that Sugianti had attacked the teenager while he was “in a compromising position and in a confined space."
Apparently, she also “taunted him by telling him not to ‘act tough’", and tapped him on his right thigh with the frying pan, knowing he had been scalded. It is also important to note that the boiling point of cooking oil is about 300°C, while the boiling point of water is 100°C.
Mr. Chong opined, "There is no reason for the domestic worker to resort to violence when she has the time and opportunity to seek help from proper and legitimate channels.”
Meanwhile, the boy admitted to The Straits Times that he had some part to play, "I grabbed her face, and scratched her accidentally... But she also shouldn't have splashed the hot oil on me."
His sister is reported to have said, "My brother is also getting counselling to make sure he isn't traumatised by the incident and hopefully as he grows older, he will learn to manage his anger."
How can children get along better with the maid
In the initial days it might be tough to establish a rapport between the kids and the maid. Mostly, kids are confused about the role of this outsider in their lives.
Hopefully, these tips will help improve the child-maid relationship:
- Explain your children’s nature: It is important that your maid is familiar with your children’s personalities, so she knows what to avoid or how to approach each of them.
- Let her know your children’s schedule: She should also be familiar with their schedule so she can make necessary arrangements for them and avoid last minute confusion.
- Set boundaries: Is it okay for your maid to discipline your child? Let her know the ground rules -what works and what does not work in your household.
- Treat your maid with respect, your kids are watching you! : If you want your kids to be respectful to your helper, remember to speak to her in a respectful manner as well.
Do not let your children treat your maid with disrespect. Ignoring your child’s impudence will eventually lead to teaching your child the wrong values, and give him a false sense of superiority and entitlement.
- Give constructive feedback : If you are not happy with your maid’s work, instruct her without scolding. She is human after all.
Treat her with dignity and respect, for she is helping you do work that you yourself are unable to cope up with. Praise her for good work and behaviour. It will spur her to do better.