SINGAPORE - Police confirmed on Tuesday that a report has been lodged against a 25-year-old woman who slapped and allegedly assaulted her 58-year-old mother outside a flat in Lower Delta Road.
The report was lodged on Monday (July 20). The case has been classified as voluntarily causing hurt and police investigations are ongoing, said a joint statement from the police and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF).
"The police and MSF are working closely to ensure that the victim receives the necessary care and support. To better protect vulnerable adults from abuse or neglect, we urge members of the public to alert the authorities or call the police in case of emergency," said the statement.
A video of the incident went viral. The Facebook clip, uploaded at 7.42pm on Monday by Mr Mohammad Juani, 25, using the name ApohTecky Numero, shows the frail-looking woman sweeping the corridor outside a HDB flat under the watchful gaze of two other women.
Towards the end of the video, one of the women is seen delivering a hard slap to the left side of her face. As the elderly woman attempted to steady herself, she received another slap on the other side of her face.
Mr Juani said: "I couldn't bear to see the pain that the old auntie suffered. She also needs to be treated like a human being."
"I hope the auntie can live happily," he added.
He told The Straits Times that he initially felt that he should not be "kaypoh" (nosy) as it was a family matter.
But the limousine driver had witnessed similar slapping incidents almost daily for the past six months.
"I could not bear seeing the auntie like that anymore," he said, adding that the police called him in to make an official report on Tuesday, which he did.
He added that he and his family were moving out of the rental flat in two months' time. He said: "If later on I heard that the auntie had passed away, I would regret not doing something."
He said he discussed the matter with his mother and younger brother, and they decided that shooting a video would be best as it would capture evidence of the abuse.
Other neighbours of the family also said that such incidents happened often.
When ST visited the woman's third-storey flat in Lower Delta Road on Tuesday morning (July 21), the gate was locked and there was no answer despite repeated knocking.
A note, by "Siti", was pasted near the door. It said that Siti and her mother no longer lived in the flat and were at a friend's house because they "hold (owed) people a lot of money".
However, their next door neighbour, Mr D.V. Singh, said that Siti and her mother, Kamisah, were still staying in the flat but had not returned since Monday night after an ambulance took Kamisah to hospital.
When contacted, the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said that it was alerted to the incident at 10:41 pm on Monday and had sent an ambulance.
"Upon arrival, we conveyed a woman conscious to Singapore General Hospital (SGH)," said an SCDF spokesman.
Mr Singh said that Siti's family had moved in to the flat about two years ago and had borrowed about $5,000 from him.
The unemployed 39-year-old also said that he had often heard the family members shouting at each other at night and banging on the wall.
Two other neighbours said that the beatings were a common sight.
A neighbour a few doors away, housewife Jacquelin Low, 48, said that she saw the younger woman slap the older woman about twice a week in the common corridor.
"The mother would be sweeping or washing the floor and the daughter would stand next to her and suddenly start shouting. She would then slap the mother," said Ms Low. "Roughly, I saw this happen maybe twice a week."
Another neighbour, who gave his name only as Mr Samat S, said that two weeks ago during the fasting month, the mother was seen falling down after alighting from a cab. "The daughter slapped and kicked her as she lay on the ground," said the 57-year-old, who is a tour bus driver. "I am really happy that someone took action."
"I wanted to do something too, but we didn't know what," he said.