Woman posed no threat to kids under her care, says MP

The contract infant care assistant detained under the Internal Security Act worked at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool at Block 385, Tampines Street 32.
The contract infant care assistant detained under the Internal Security Act worked at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool at Block 385, Tampines Street 32.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The radicalised infant care assistant detained under the Internal Security Act never posed a threat to the children under her care, said Tampines GRC MP Cheng Li Hui yesterday.

Syaikhah Izzah Zahrah Al Ansari, 22, was a contract worker at the PCF Sparkletots Preschool at Block 385, Tampines Street 32.

Located in Ms Cheng's Tampines East ward, the pre-school is run by the charity wing of the People's Action Party, the PAP Community Foundation.

In a Facebook post, Ms Cheng assured parents that their children were safe. "We have been and will continue to work with the authorities and would like to assure parents that at no time was there a threat to the children under her care."

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There is no evidence that Izzah tried to influence the children in the centre, the Home Affairs Ministry said yesterday. "There is also no indication that Izzah has tried to radicalise her colleagues."

It also said Izzah was the first case of radicalisation involving someone in the pre-school sector.

There are many excellent infant and childcare workers - many of them Muslims - who have taken meticulous care of the children in their charge, it said. "We should not let Izzah's case take anything away from the good work done by our Muslim staff in the pre-school sector."

CHILDREN NOT AT RISK

Some Singaporeans, especially parents, may be disturbed that she was an infant care assistant and in contact with children. We have been and will continue to work with the authorities and would like to assure parents that at no time was there a threat to the children under her care.

TAMPINES GRC MP CHENG LI HUI

The Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA), which regulates the early childhood sector, said it had visited the centre.

"Based on our interactions with staff, we've assessed the children to be safe and well cared for," it said.

As an infant care assistant, Izzah worked under supervision in giving routine care to infants aged between two months and 18 months old at the centre. Her duties included helping to feed the infants, change their diapers and run playtime activities.

ECDA said she would always be supervised by trained staff.

Parents were told they could contact the centre's staff if they had questions on the matter.

Financial consultant Hong Wai Ling, 26, whose four-year-old daughter joined the centre this year, said: "I'd be worried if she influenced the kids but they are too young anyway."

 

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 13, 2017, with the headline 'Woman posed no threat to kids under her care, says MP'. Print Edition | Subscribe