Maid 'had knife in each hand' in alleged attack

Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow (above), died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house (below).
Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow, died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house.ST PHOTO: AW CHENG WEI
Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow (above), died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house (below).
Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow (above), died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house.PHOTO: FACEBOOK
Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow (above), died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house (below).
Mr Ong had surgery for injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH, and was expected to be discharged yesterday. His wife, Madam Seow, died in the alleged attack by their maid at their Telok Kurau house (above).ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Businessman recounts incident on Tuesday night in which his wife died and he sustained multiple injuries

Businessman Ong Thiam Soon went looking for his wife in their semi-detached house in Telok Kurau when she did not come into their bedroom to watch television as usual on Tuesday night.

"I kept shouting her name but there was no response," said Mr Ong, who left his room on the first floor and found a bathroom on the second level locked.

He unlocked it and saw a trail of blood. Before he could take in the scene, Daryati - his maid of two months - allegedly attacked him with a knife in each hand.

"She slashed my neck. I was in shock," Mr Ong said in Mandarin. It was then that he noticed his wife's bloodied, motionless body on the bathroom floor.

He was speaking to reporters from Changi General Hospital (CGH), where he was sent for surgery after his Indonesian maid allegedly attacked him and his 59-year-old wife, Madam Seow Kim Choo. His wife died, and Daryati was arrested.

 
 

Mr Ong, 57, said he tried to hold down Daryati, but she struggled hard. "When (Daryati) finally calmed down, I went to my wife but she was no longer breathing. There was a lot of blood."

Daryati, 23, allegedly lunged at him again, and they continued to tussle. Mr Ong shouted for his daughter-in-law, who was taking care of his two grandchildren on the third floor.

Hearing the commotion, his other maid rushed to the bathroom but ran away screaming after she saw the gruesome scene. Mr Ong's daughter-in-law called the police before going to his aid.

They managed to subdue the maid and tied her hands. Mr Ong, with Daryati in tow, then ran out of the house, shouting for help.

He caught the attention of several passers-by, who helped him. Three Malaysians helped to bind Daryati with a cable tie found in the house, and also took towels to stanch Mr Ong's bleeding.

Digital solutions director Daniel Chen, 35, was driving home to his rented condominium apartment next to the Ongs' home when he noticed his neighbour waving at him.

"I realised there was blood on his face. I thought that he fell ," said Mr Chen, who then saw the wounds on Mr Ong's neck. "I put him on a chair and tried to keep him and his daughter-in-law calm."

He sees the family "almost every day" since he and his girlfriend moved in last October, and said Mr Ong would play with their dog.

"They are a very nice family," he added.

Mr Ong and his wife lived with their two sons, daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, said Mr Chen.

The family had two maids, including Daryati, who Indonesian Embassy counsellor Didit Parlambang said hails from the province of Lampung in Indonesia.

The embassy is still trying to get in touch with her family in Indonesia, he added.

Mr Chen said he has seen Daryati doing tasks like watering the plants and walking the dogs. "It was all very normal and we talked very briefly - she will say 'hi' sometimes."

When The Straits Times visited the neighbourhood yesterday morning, maids and residents in the houses nearby said they did not know Daryati and the Ongs well.

The maid agency that brought Daryati in told The Straits Times it had not received negative feedback on her performance during her time with the Ongs. A spokesman for the agency said this was her first time working as a maid.

On Tuesday night, the police received a call for help at 8.48pm. Paramedics pronounced Madam Seow dead at 9.03pm.

Mr Ong underwent surgery for multiple injuries to his neck, forehead and leg at CGH. He was expected to be discharged yesterday.

Mr Ong said Daryati, who was allowed one phone call home every month, had been "agitated" for the past few days because she could not reach her family in Indonesia.

"We treat her very well and give her a lot of freedom," he said.

Asked about Madam Seow, he teared up and said she was a good wife who helped him a lot with his business and took care of the family.

Mr Ong is listed as the director of three engineering firms here.

Police have classified the case as murder and are investigating.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 09, 2016, with the headline 'Maid 'had knife in each hand' in alleged attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe