Town council says Toa Payoh resident's antics pose no danger, working with agencies to resolve issue

A resident walking past the flat of a neighbour who was seen flinging burning items over the parapet and splashing different substances outside her home.
A resident walking past the flat of a neighbour who was seen flinging burning items over the parapet and splashing different substances outside her home.ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

SINGAPORE - An elderly Toa Payoh resident whose "irregular behaviour" has sparked fear among neighbours does not pose any danger to herself or others, said the Bishan-Toa Payoh Town Council.

The town council is working with various agencies to help resolve the matter.

On Saturday, The Straits Times reported that residents were concerned for their safety after the woman was seen flinging burning items over the parapet and splashing what appeared to be a corrosive liquid outside her home.

Her actions have resulted in the paint on the walls outside the unit to peel, exposing bare bricks at certain spots.

Neighbours have also heard her shouting loudly every morning for the past months.

In a statement issued late Sunday night (Jan 7), town council chairman Chong Kee Hiong said that the agencies are aware of the actions of the woman who lives at Block 55, Toa Payoh Lorong 5.

Efforts over the past few months to help the woman have involved agencies such as the Housing and Development Board (HDB), resident committees, voluntary welfare organisation Care Corner and the neighbourhood police centre.

Mr Chong said in his statement that the woman lives in a rental flat in the block with her husband. Both of them are in their 70s.


Neighbours said that the resident splashes different substances outside her unit until the paint on the walls peel. ST PHOTO: GAVIN FOO

Grassroots leaders, in a visit to the flat, found that the woman had used salt, vinegar and baking powder to scrub the wall and floor to supposedly "get rid of spirits", he said.

She would also throw cold ash over the parapet.

Mr Chong said that the agencies have been trying to get professional help for the woman.

However, he said that she has "adamantly refused offers of help", despite the agencies' repeated attempts.

"The police are monitoring if there are adequate grounds to compel her to seek professional help, but their current assessment is that she poses no danger to herself or residents," he added.

 

Repair works were carried out to fix the damage along the corridor, but despite being issued warnings, the woman persisted in her actions.

The agencies noted that the couple have lived in the block for around 10 years and that relocation would not solve the problem.

"It would be unfair to the husband to simply transfer the problem to another precinct and this may exacerbate the wife's condition," Mr Chong noted.

Nevertheless, alternative housing arrangements are in the works, especially if the woman's behaviour does not show improvement after treatment.

In the statement, the agencies reiterated that they would take the safety of all residents into account in dealing with the issue, and expressed hope that the problem would reach a satisfactory outcome.