Block 276 on Tampines Street 22 in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
Block 276 on Tampines Street 22 in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 38-year-old Indonesian woman was jailed for 15 years by Singapore’s High Court on Monday after the domestic worker pleaded guilty to killing her elderly employer after a dispute last year.

Tay Quee Lang, 77, was killed by an Indonesian carer named Minah on February 13, 2017, at home on the fifth floor of Block 276 on Tampines Street 22. The domestic worker thrust a 22-centimeter kitchen knife so deep into her throat it reached the apex of her lung, Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.

Minah was hired by the victim’s 78-year-old husband Tan Hee Seng one month before the tragedy to look after his wife, who had become weak and needed a walking stick as well as help to move around after a fall in late 2016.

The victim and the carer had reportedly been getting along well.

The court learned that on Feb 13 Tay was sitting on her rattan chair in the living room after finishing lunch with help from her husband, who then left the house for a medical appointment.

The elderly woman called repeatedly for the maid, who was having lunch in the kitchen, then scolded her for taking a long time to eat and play on her mobile phone. The pair soon ended up shouting at each other.

After being called a fourth time, the maid took a knife from the kitchen to tried to threaten Tay from nagging her further. However, the elderly woman continued to scold Minah for her bad performance at work.

The court was told Minah then vented her anger by thrusting the knife into the woman’s neck. Tay immediately gasped for air and tried to push the knife away but failed.

A man living next door reportedly heard the maid crying and murmuring “tolong tolong”, calling for help in Indonesian. When he saw Tay with the knife lodged in her throat, he called the police.

Minah tried initially to say Tay had committed suicide.

But with ample evidence, the defendant eventually plead guilty to the charge of culpable homicide in the High Court on Monday.

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