The police have allegedly thrown up their hands even as a neighbour from hell continues mercilessly harassing a hapless woman at Block 247 Tampines Street 21. Elderly woman Lee Dji Lin has been verbally abusing widowed Marliah Jonet several times a day for nine years and Mdm Marliah attempts to put an end to the situation has been fruitless.
Besides hurting Mdm Marliah with her words, Lee also throws garbage out of her windows regularly and splashes water on her neighbours’ laundry which is left drying outside. Things escalated in 2017 when Lee threw raw pork at Mdm Marliah’s doorstep.
She was charged in court and ordered to seek psychiatric treatment and the abuse stopped for about three to four months, but Lee soon began harassing Mdm Marliah once again. Insulting Mdm Marliah in Malay, English and Mandarin, Lee often brings Mdm Marliah’s deceased husband and daughter into her taunts.
Mdm Marliah, who told the press that the harassment have hurt her “to the core”, revealed that Lee accuses her of being responsible for the deaths of her husband and daughter. Besides using racial and religious slurs, Lee also accuses Mdm Marliah of having loose morals.
Mdm Marliah has asked the Housing Development Board, Tampines Town Council, grassroots leaders and her former Member of Parliament for help in resolving the issue but these efforts did not do anything in putting an end to the abuse. Lee also refuses to attend the voluntary mediation that Mdm Marliah arranges.
Desperate, Mdm Marliah even sought help from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in 2011. She emailed the head of Government and informed him about the situation but his aides referred her back to Tampines Town Council.
In March this year, Mdm Marliah was informed that the police – after consulting with the Attorney-General’s Chambers – would not be taking any further action with regards to her complaints.
The options left for Mdm Marliah is to file a case with the Community Dispute Resolution Tribunal at the State Courts or file for protection from harassment at the State Courts. While she is aware that she can seek legal recourse, Mdm Marliah cannot afford to hire a lawyer. There is also no legal aid for cases involving neighbours having disputes.
Revealing that she can only hope the harassment will stop soon, Mdm Marliah told Yahoo: “I will accept any help I can get. I have good relations with my other neighbours. I still believe in the police and government system.”