SINGAPORE: A foreign domestic helper fled Singapore only seven weeks into her employment, after leaving the house under the pretext of taking out the trash.

The incident, which occurred at approximately 10pm on March 31 at a four-room HDB flat on Rivervale Drive in Sengkang, has left the family grappling with uncertainty and exhaustion.

Ms Ye (transliterated from Mandarin), the 62-year-old housewife who hired the helper, recounted her disappointment to Shin Min Daily News.

Her helper, Aini from Indonesia, began work on 8 Feb, this year. Ms Ye revealed that while Aini’s performance initially fell short of expectations, she patiently tolerated it, attributing the shortcomings to her unfamiliarity with the household chores. Despite reminders, Aini failed to meet Ms Ye’s expectations, who hoped for a gradual improvement.

The main reason Aini was hired was to help care for Ms Ye’s 37-year-old daughter requires round-the-clock care due to an intellectual disability. Aini was made aware of these responsibilities before joining the household.

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Despite Ms Ye’s efforts to alleviate Aini’s workload, such as encouraging rest breaks, the helper’s impatience and negligence persisted, as captured by CCTV footage.

The breaking point arrived on March 31, when Aini vanished under the guise of taking out the trash, leaving Ms Ye’s family in the lurch.

Ms Ye grew concerned upon realizing her helper was missing, prompting her to notify the authorities.

Suspicion surrounds Aini’s departure, with surveillance footage revealing peculiar behavior earlier in the day that suggests she may have had an accomplice.

Despite police involvement and efforts by the maid agency to locate Aini, including liaising with her family and the Indonesian Embassy, her whereabouts remain unknown.

The maid agency urges employers in similar circumstances to promptly report such matters to the authorities.

Ms Ye, meanwhile, lamented the cancellation of her long-awaited vacation plans to China, which was intended as a respite from years of relentless caregiving.

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Since her helper vanished, Ms Ye finds herself shuttling between the agency and the Ministry of Manpower, grappling with bureaucratic hurdles while simultaneously attending to her daughter’s needs.

She told the Chinese daily that the relentless juggling of responsibilities has taken a toll on her physical and mental well-being, leaving her exhausted.