STEPHANIE GARCIA WRITES – There are all types of neighbors, ones that lend a cup of sugar, ones whose names we never learn, and ones who play their music loudly. Of course, the worst of all are the ones who play their music loudly and then physically abuse their elderly neighbors for complaining about it.

On Saturday, September 28, two female police officers responded to a situation in which 65 year old Madam Toh Siew Hong was being attacked by her 41 year old neighbor, Casey Sabrina Ng. In a span of twenty minutes, Madam Toh allegedly suffered over fifty blows at the hands of her neighbor, an incident recorded by a camera installed by the victim’s family. The video was uploaded to Facebook by Toh’s daughter-in-law, where it attracted viral attention.

Madam Toh’s daughter, Ms. Yap, claims that the camera was a precaution they felt was necessary after multiple threats from Ms. Ng since earlier that month. Yap insists that Ng had been a difficult neighbor since moving to the Chai Chee flats in January, often playing loud music late at night. She believes her mother was beaten because Ng thought she was the source of complaints made against her.

Following the dispute, Ng was taken to the Institute of Mental Health for psychiatric evaluation and Toh was admitted to Changi General Hospital, where she was given facial stitches before being released. Ng was charged in a district court on Monday, September 30 and will return on October 14. If convicted of the charges “abusive words on a public servant” and “voluntarily causing hurt to a police officer” she may face charges of a S$5,000 fine and up to a seven year jail sentence.

However in the light of such an appalling attack, some questions are raised. For example, why is the legal focus on the physical aggression toward two trained officers, rather than on the helpless and unexpecting elderly woman who required stitches? And why in the world was the video posted on Facebook?