A video circulating online of a man and woman hitting their daughter with a cane and tree branch in public has sparked heated debate.
The incident happened at Block 410 in Jurong West on Tuesday (May 16) at around 6.30pm, next to an open-air carpark.
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The six-minute-long video shows the woman holding a cane and standing with her daughter, believed to be in lower primary school, next to a school bag and some books that are scattered on the ground.
The girl tries to snatch the cane from her mother, repeatedly crying out “I don’t want” in Mandarin. The video also shows the woman tearing up a piece of paper.
About one minute into the video, the girl’s father who had originally been looking on, suddenly grabs what appears to be a tree branch, walks up to her, and uses it to hit her leg several times.
The girl then runs off, shouting: “Papa, I don’t want.”
Later, her mother passes her a tissue to wipe her tears and instructs her to pick up her bag and books before asking her to get into the car.
Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao spoke to an eyewitness, a 60-year-old who wanted to be known only as Mr Su, who said that three young people at the scene alerted the police.
When the police arrived, officers spent about 20 minutes speaking with the parents before leaving.
The Straits Times understands that the police advised the couple not to cane their child in public in future as this might cause alarm.
The response from netizens has so far been divided.
Facebook user Alfian Ian Noordin argued that parents have a right to discipline their children, adding in his comment that one should not be a “busybody”.
Others, such as Wai Kit Seet, said that using violence on children would result in them acting out of fear rather than learning why what they did was wrong.
A version of this article first appeared in The Straits Times.
(Photo: Screengrab from Youtube)