Public furore over video that showed elderly woman being slapped stressful for family, says Tan Chuan-Jin

A note outside the flat of elderly woman Kamisah Burel, 58, who was abused by her daugher.
A note outside the flat of elderly woman Kamisah Burel, 58, who was abused by her daugher.PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

SINGAPORE - The public's role in flagging the video of the slapping of an elderly woman by her daughter is appreciated, but the "public trial" of the woman's family has been harsh, Minister for Social and Family Development (MSF) Tan Chuan-Jin said on Friday (July 24).

Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Singapore's 20th social service office, he described the public furore that ensued, following the release of a video which showed an elderly woman being slapped, as a "public jury or trial of the individuals concerned".

"Truth be told, because of the intense public scrutiny, and we understand why, there is a lot of pressure on the family. It has been very, very stressful and it's not easy," he said, adding that what is circulated on social media is not always accurate.

"Sometimes details may be half-accurate or inaccurate."


"But really (it's) not appropriate... for various members of the public to chip in and to criticise one particular party, or canvass for particular actions, or call for people to visit them... it creates a lot of pressure.

"It will be helpful if some of the scrutiny is mitigated to some degree," he said, urging the public to direct their energy instead to highlighting other areas of concern in their communities.

"When appropriate and suitable, we will make sure there will be updates for the public who remain concerned about this," he said.

The police and the MSF are investigating a video that showed a 25-year-old woman slapping and allegedly assaulting her 58-year-old mother outside a flat in Lower Delta Road.

The video, filmed and posted by Mr Mohammad Juani on Monday evening, has been viewed more than 790,000 times and has received hundreds of comments, many criticising the daughter harshly.