4 brokerage houses raided

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Mum who saw footage of baby's abuse: I trembled with rage

Parents of abused boy discovered maid's actions only after mum 'felt uncomfortable'

UNBELIEVABLE: The CCTV footage showing Tursinah dropping the boy head-first into the cot, yanking him by his limbs and lifting him up by his shirt.

They were happy with their maid as she was efficient and their toddler liked her. So much so that they treated her like a member of the family.

Imagine their horror then when they found out that Tursinah Sari, 32, had been abusing their youngest child who had turned one not too long ago.

On 15 occasions, the Indonesian had ill-treated her charge in various ways, including dangling him upside down from his ankles, spinning him around like a rag doll and dropping him head-first into his cot.

And it was only by chance, and a mother's instinct, that his parents discovered the abuse after watching footage from a closed-circuit television camera in their home.

On Tuesday, Tursinah was jailed for 12 weeks after pleading guilty to six out of 15 charges of ill-treating the child. (See report above.)

The boy and his parents cannot be named, to protect his identity.

Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, the parents, who are in their 30s, said the abuse came as a huge shock as they had a good relationship with Tursinah.

Said the father: "We treated her well, and she even said that she felt like a part of our family. But she was a totally different person behind closed doors, someone we didn't know at all. There were no tell-tale signs of the abuse."

On the evening of Feb 4 this year, his wife saw Tursinah lift their son out of his cot by his shirt when she decided to check the live CCTV footage from the boy's room. 

They had installed the CCTV cameras in the common areas and bedrooms a few years ago for "peace of mind" and to "stay connected" with their children at home.

The couple, who have two other children, would watch live and recorded footage on their smartphones whenever they missed their kids.

It was routine for Tursinah, who worked for the family for five months, to put the toddler to sleep in his room around 7pm while the rest of the family had their dinner.


They said that Tursinah was never alone at home with the baby as either of the couple's parents would come over every day while they were at work.

The maid was left alone with the boy only when she put him to sleep in the evening and during his bath time.

The mother said: "I wanted to check if she was having trouble getting him to sleep as he had a late nap that day. I didn't want to open the door in case I disturbed him, so I checked the live footage on my phone."

She thought the "rough handling" was just a one-off and later told Tursinah to be gentler with the boy.

But she could not stop thinking about the incident the next day while at work, and her mother's instinct kicked in.

"I felt uncomfortable, so I decided to check footage from previous days and discovered that it wasn't a one-time thing. I couldn't believe my eyes and was literally trembling in disbelief and anger as I watched her abuse my son," she said.

After viewing a few days of footage, she could no longer bear to watch. She asked her husband to continue checking the recordings.

He said: "I watched the recordings until 5am the next day, and I felt my emotions building up each time I saw her ill-treat my son. Seeing her turning, tossing and spinning my son made my heart break."

The couple said the older kids had not complained of abuse by the maid.

They made a police report on Feb 6, and Tursinah was arrested that very day.

The boy was examined at KK Women's and Children's Hospital that day and had no external injuries.

The father said he knew about Tursinah's conviction and sentence only when TNP approached them on Tuesday.

He said he had received a call from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority on Wednesday informing him that Tursinah had been released from jail as the sentence had been backdated to Feb 8.

The couple were upset that Tursinah had told the judge that they had not paid her salary for five months. This led to some online criticism of them, and some relatives had also questioned them about it.

The couple said this was not true as they were keeping the money for Tursinah. (See report at right.)

They said that they decided to make a police report as they did not want the same abuse to happen to another family.

Said the mother: "I did wonder if it was harsh of us to make a police report. But I didn't want her to be passed to another family where she could do the same thing."

Her husband added: "We hope my son won't remember any of this. He is a strong and happy-go-lucky child. The paediatrician told us the only thing we can do now is to observe him and shower him with love."

I watched the recordings until 5am, and I felt my emotions building up each time I saw her ill-treat my son. Seeing her turning, tossing and spinning my son made my heart break.

- The boy's father

Heartwarming heartland pictures captured in a book

HELPING EACH OTHER: Madam Marippan Jayaletchimi with her husband Mr A A Vasaant, 68, at the launch of the Portrait of Love exhibition on Friday (April 22)

These are heartwarming pictures of ordinary people, brought together in a book aptly named Portraits of Love.

It is termed as "a compilation of stories from the heartland".

Portraits of Love, or POL, is a project by the Home Nursing Foundation's (HNF) "desire to bring some warm memories to cold walls in our patients' homes".

The foundation is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

An exhibition featuring 30 photographs of patients which are also featured in the book was inaugurated on Friday (April 22) by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Health and Environment and Water Resources.


She led nine HNF's home-care patients and POL participants in an SMRT London Taxi convoy to the exhibition venue.

Among those featured in the exhibition are couples Mr A A Vasaant and Madam Marippan Jayaletchimi and Mr Shabbeer Ahmed Bin Saleh, 76, and Madam Meharunnisa Binte Syed Kassim, 67.

Mr Vasaant and Madam Jayaletchimi were involved in a major accident on a trip to India in December 2014. They suffered serious injuries to their legs.

Mr Vasaant, now 68, was even told that his leg had to be amputated.

But that didn't happen.

Madam Jayaletchimi, who still hasn't recovered fully, is able to cook, but takes short breaks to relieve pain in her legs.

Sometimes, she even enlists the help of her neighbour to buy food.

Madam Jayaletchimi, 65, who has diabetes and high blood pressure, told The New Paper: "I need help from someone to help me buy food and clean."

Mr Shabbeer Ahmed Bin Saleh and his wife Madam Meharunnisa Binte Kassim at the exhibition with their portrait in the background. PHOTO: DALENE LOW

Mr Shabbeer, and Madam Meharunnisa, lives in a rented single-bedroom flat in Clementi.

He takes care of his wife, who has Parkinson's disease.

He said: "I told my maid if she doesn't take care of me, it's fine. But she has to take care of my wife."

Said Ms Priscylla Shaw, president of HNF: "We just want to show a glimpse of our patients in their everyday life with their family."

The books, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, can be purchased during the exhibition at $20 each.

To purchase them after the exhibition, contact HNF at 6854 5500. 
Proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the foundation.

The exhibition runs until Sunday (April 24) from 10am to 10pm at Raffles City Atrium, Level 3.

Admission is free.

Goodwood Park Hotel bakery licence suspended

The famous durian puffs from Goodwood Park Hotel's bakery.

The National Environment Agency (NEA) has suspended the licence of the bakery at Goodwood Park Hotel after several cases of food poisoning were reported.

The food poisoning cases, traced to the consumption of durian pastries, were reported between March 15 and April 16, a joint press release from the NEA, Ministry of Health (MOH) and Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Friday (April 22).

As of Thursday (April 21), 76 cases of food poisoning were reported.

The bakery's licence has been suspended until further notice.

MOH's epidemiological investigations found that the consumption of durian pastries was the only common epidemiological link.

Some lapses were found in food handling in the durian pastry kitchen of the bakery, although the premises were found to be clean with proper housekeeping.

Further investigations are ongoing.

The durian pastries there are a favourite among Singaporeans, who expressed their shock about the news on Facebook.

Some were relieved that they didn't eat the pastries recently.

While a few just discovered or shared how they were affected.




Fan tributes to Prince

Yesterday, the world was shocked by the death of 57-year-oldmusic icon, Prince.

Many fans slowly accepted the harsh truth and with the tributes came thick and fast praising his many years of inspiration and innovation.

Some wrote while others went with something more visual.

There were fans who painted their faces and tattooed their bodies.



There are also several artworks and animations.












Some personalities have also Tweeted and made video tributes to the singer.







BY THE numbers

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Chee: If elected, I will continue to press the Government

MAKING HIS POINT: SDP's Dr Chee Soon Juan at Bukit Batok MRT station.

If People's Action Party candidate Murali Pillai is elected into Parliament, he would not be able to make a difference on issues like poverty and income inequality, Dr Chee Soon Juan claimed yesterday.

Addressing the media in person for the first time since the May 7 Bukit Batok by-election was announced on Wednesday, the secretary-general of Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) said he will push for bread-and-butter issues if he is elected.

The economic situation here is dire and will get worse, Dr Chee said at Bukit Batok MRT.

"With 81 seats that the PAP has in Parliament, what is the difference that Mr Murali is going to make in Parliament? But if you get me into Parliament, these are the issues that I will raise, and I will continue to press the Government to make sure that they will be more sensitised to the plight of Singaporeans."

Citing the example of a coffee shop chain raising the price of coffee, eggs and toast by 10 cents, he said that the cost of living is a concern, especially for the retirees and retrenched.


Dr Chee said: "The ministers may not feel it, they live in a completely different world. (But) for the retirees and the retrenched, every cent counts."

The welfare of the Bukit Batok elderly is another of his concerns. He cited statistics that showed the suicide rate among the elderly in Singapore has risen by 60 per cent since 2000.

He said in Mandarin: "The Government has not taken care of the elderly well. At Bukit Batok, we will take care of them well."

Dr Chee said that the team has covered the entire Bukit Batok estate and will now take a "targeted approach" in convincing residents to vote for him.

He emphasised that running the town council will not take a back seat, and that residents will enjoy a "tangible difference" in their quality of life.

"We want to assure residents that not only will we take care of the hardware of the estate, but make sure that their quality of life, the heart ware, is constantly upgraded.

"We want the people here to enjoy the kind of lifestyle that we seldom see in other constituencies in Singapore. The other constituencies are very cookie-cutter."

The SDP will be holding a press conference today to provide more details about its programme.