Maid charged with 16-year-old's murder

Maid charged with 16-year-old's murder

An Indonesian maid was Friday charged with the murder of her employer's 16-year-old daughter in their Tampines flat.

The charge was read to Tuti Aeliyah before a field magistrate at a hospital where she was sent for a medical check-up.

The 28-year-old is accused of killing Shameera Basha Noor Basha, a Secondary 4 student at Tanjong Katong Girls' School (TKGS), on Thursday between 7am and 1pm.

Tuti has since been remanded for further investigations, but will return to court in two weeks.

The victim's family, made up of her parents and a younger brother, have been living in the Tampines Street 82 flat for about three years. Her mother is believed to be a school teacher and her father is in shipping.

Indonesian Embassy counsellor Sukmo Yuwono told The Straits Times that his records show that Tuti had been working at the victim's home for about 1 1/2 years.

Mr Sukmo said he had asked to see Tuti after hearing of her arrest. But the police said he could do so only after Dec 6 when she appears in court again.

"I would like to see her just to find out how she is," he said.

A close family friend told The Straits Times that Shameera was due to sit her biology examination, her last for the O-level exams, on Friday.

TKGS principal Mary Seah said she and her colleagues were saddened by Shameera's passing.

"The school is providing support to the student's family in this time of difficulty," she said. "We will also provide counselling support to staff and students affected by this incident."

At least 100 people visited the family Friday. They included Shameera's classmates, friends and relatives. Most declined to speak to reporters.

Said to be a bright student, Shameera took part in this year's Singapore Mathematical Olympiad. She was also a bronze award winner in the 2011 Commonwealth Essay Competition.

Her uncle, Dr Rahim Leyman, said her family was "very distraught" over her death and requested privacy.

"At this point we don't want to comment on anything," he added, "as it is already very difficult for the family to find closure."

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