Unhappy maid put ant poison in kettle for herself, employer felt ill after drinking from it

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
March 1, 2024

A maid, who was unhappy with the way her employer was treating her, emptied half a packet of ant poison into a kettle and drank the tainted water.

Myanmar national Thidar Win, 35, started vomiting soon after and she took a painkiller to ease her discomfort.

Her 57-year-old employer later drank some water from the same kettle and found that it tasted strange.

When confronted, Thidar Win admitted that she had put ant poison in the kettle for her own consumption.

The employer, who also felt ill, then went to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) and was diagnosed with ant poison ingestion.

On March 1, Thidar Win was sentenced to four weeks’ jail after she pleaded guilty to causing hurt to the employer by performing a rash act with a harmful substance.

She had been working for the older woman’s household for about five months when she decided to pour the ant poison into the kettle on Dec 26, 2023.

The maid threw up after drinking the contaminated water. After that, she washed the kettle but some of the poison still remained inside.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Quek Lu Yi said: “She knew that there was a real risk that the victim would drink from the kettle... that consuming the ant poison was very dangerous... and that it would be unreasonable to take such a risk.”

On Dec 27, 2023, the employer boiled some water in the same kettle and found that its contents tasted “funny”.

She emptied the kettle and refilled it, only to find that the water still tasted strange. There were also some sediments in the kettle, said the DPP.

The employer confronted Thidar Win, who admitted that she had put ant poison in the kettle.

The older woman alerted the police and an ambulance took her to TTSH. She was given two days of medical leave.


Mental well-being

  • Institute of Mental Health’s Mental Health Helpline: 6389-2222 (24 hours)
  • Samaritans of Singapore: 1-767 (24 hours) / 9151 1767 (24 hours CareText via WhatsApp)
  • Singapore Association for Mental Health: 1800-283-7019
  • Silver Ribbon Singapore: 6386-1928
  • Tinkle Friend: 1800-274-4788 
  • Chat, Centre of Excellence for Youth Mental Health: 6493-6500/1
  • Women’s Helpline (Aware): 1800-777-5555 (weekdays, 10am to 6pm)
  • Aware’s Sexual Assault Care Centre: 6779-0282 (weekdays, 10am to 6pm)
  • National Anti-Violence and Sexual Harassment Helpline: 1800-777-0000


  • TOUCHline (Counselling): 1800-377-2252
  • TOUCH Care Line (for seniors, caregivers): 6804-6555
  • Care Corner Counselling Centre: 6353-1180
  • Counselling and Care Centre: 6536-6366

Online resources

The Straits Times

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.