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The New Paper
October 2, 2023
When her husband found $100 missing from his wallet and suspected the helper of stealing the cash, businesswoman Winnie Heng refused to believe her maid would be capable of such an act.
Later, when money went missing again – this time, $160 – her mother searched the helper’s bag and found the cash crumpled up and stuffed in the corners – along with several other accessories that Winnie simply couldn’t believe her maid would steal.
The Singaporean woman took to TikTok to share how her helper was caught stealing from the family – despite the fact that Winnie had treated her well.
On Sept 29, after the family discovered the helper’s misdeeds, they searched through the latter’s belongings and found cigarettes, jewellery, a pair of sunglasses, a handphone stand and a portable charger.
Winnie says it was the cigarettes that upset her the most. “She only has time to smoke when she takes my children downstairs to play,” she said. “I can’t accept people smoking in front of my children.”
Noting that she had always provided her helper with pocket money, she was also bewildered that she would steal a handphone stand. “What value does this even hold that she’d want to steal it?”
Winnie added that though she wouldn’t go so far as to call herself the “best employer”, she said she had done her best to treat her helper well.
Guess I have to stop working for awhile…
She told MS News her helper had been working for her for one year and six months.
When she arrived in Singapore, Winnie bought her a new phone, and then later replaced it when it broke. She would also bring her along on overseas trips, including a vacation to Japan, to shop and sightsee.
When dining, Winnie said would order dishes her helper preferred. “If she asks for white rice, I’d order fried rice for her. I’d even order meat and vegetables.
“I eat well, she eats well, I go shopping, she will also go shopping,” she added.
Winnie said she also bought her helper a pair of earrings from Japan once.
“I bought many, many things for her. I think... it was my fault, I treated her too well. I feel like an idiot now.”
Winnie said she was aware her helper had come to an unfamiliar country and was working for strangers after leaving her hometown. As such, she wanted to treat her well and make her feel a part of the family.
Once, she had given her a “second chance” after catching her being rude to her family members.
“I cannot give her another chance this time,” Winnie said, adding that she booked her return flight the very same day she found out about the theft.
She urged families who hire helpers to be more strict from the onset. They should set clear boundaries and rules as well.
“Don’t over-pamper them and don’t be too trusting. Don’t leave cash or valuables in the house.”