Maid gets violent with cops
She puts up plea for help on Facebook but resists officers who turn up at workplace
A foreign domestic worker turned to Facebook in a plea for help on Wednesday.
But she put up a fierce struggle against police officers who came to her aid and ended up being pinned to the floor.
The maid from the Philippines, who is in her 20s, was arrested that night.
On Wednesday afternoon, she had updated her Facebook status with a simple "help me" followed by the address of the Ubi flat she works at.
When concerned Facebook friends commented, asking her what had happened, she requested only for their help to call the police.
Her post was brought to The New Paper's attention. TNP then alerted the police.
A police spokesman confirmed that they were alerted to a call for public assistance at about 7pm on June 3.
A woman in her 20s was arrested under the Mental Health Act, the spokesman said.
Under the law, the police can arrest a person who is reported to be mentally unsound, and believed to be of danger to himself or others. (See report above.)
When TNP arrived at the Ubi flat at about 7.40pm on Wednesday, police officers were seen taking the statements of an elderly couple and a middle-aged woman, believed to be the Filipina's employers.
After about 30 minutes, wails and screams could be heard from the flat.
Police officers were seen trying to restrain the helper. It took at least three police officers to pin her down.
She was arrested under the Mental Health Act, and is understood to be warded at Changi General Hospital.
When TNP approached one of her employers yesterday, she would only say that "the case is closed" on her end, and declined to comment further.
The elderly woman, who declined to be named, claimed she did not call the police on her maid.
"She called the police herself. I was shocked when the police arrived at our doorstep.
"I don't know, maybe she has been emotionally unstable," she told TNP in Mandarin.
When asked if she will employ a new foreign domestic worker, she shrugged.
"We are all still a little shocked and haven't decided if we should look for a new helper. It is a headache," she said.
Neighbours TNP spoke to said that they saw police officers on Wednesday evening, but did not know what could have triggered the arrest.
The helper's family and friends were clueless too.
When contacted, her older sister said she was unhappy working in Singapore, and toyed with the idea of changing employers.
Friends told TNP they do not know what had happened to her and that they were worried for her.
Some of them had suggested on Facebook that she approach the Philippine Embassy for help when she posted the plea for help.
A foreign domestic worker who wanted to be known only as Grace told TNP that her call for help was the maid's first Facebook update in four months.
She first came to Singapore to work in February, said Grace, who works in Hong Kong.
"We don't know (what happened)... My friend said that she and (her) agency were not on good terms," she said.
Miss Chelsea, a foreign domestic worker who works in the Middle East, said she tried asking her family and friends in Singapore to help her.
"She is just not telling (us) anything about what happened to her.
"I know there's something wrong... (But she said) just call (the) police."
Investigations are ongoing, the police spokesman said.
- Additional reporting by Kerri Heng
Mentally ill who are dangerous can be arrested
Under the Mental Health Act, a person reported to be mentally unsound, and believed to pose a danger to himself or others, can be arrested by the police.
After the arrest, the person will be sent for a medical examination, and referred to a psychiatric institution if needed.
If treatment is necessary, the person may be admitted to a psychiatric institution and be detained for treatment if needed.