Speaking on the sidelines of the launch of Singapore's 20th social service office, Mr Tan Chuan Jin slammed netizens for conducting a "public trial" of the family members of the abused elderly woman – who attracted widespread attention on the internet after a video showing her being slapped by her own daughter went viral.
He described the internet reaction against the woman's family as a "public jury or trial of the individuals concerned".
"Truth be told, because of the intense public scrutiny, and we understand why, there is a lot of pressure on the family. It has been very, very stressful and it's not easy," he said.
He added that sometimes "details may be half-accurate or inaccurate" on social media.
"But really (it's) not appropriate… for various members of the public to chip in and to criticize one particular party, or canvass for particular actions, or call for people to visit them… it creates a lot of pressure.
"It will be helpful if some of the scrutiny is mitigated to some degree," he said, urging the public to direct their energy instead to highlighting other areas of concern in their communities.
The police and the MSF are investigating a video that showed a 25-year-old woman slapping and allegedly assaulting her 58-year-old mother outside a flat in Lower Delta Road.
According to the latest news, a neighbor of the family, 39 year-old Darwinder Singh, has been arrested for abetting the 25 year-old daughter, Siti Nur Redha Khamas, in feeding the elderly woman human faeces and urine daily.
Before his arrest, Darwinder had also showed the media photos that he allegedly took secretly of Siti abusing her mother – which showed her using brooms and chairs to hit the elderly woman and using her bare hands to pull at her hair. Darwinder claims that he stood outside the flat and pretended to look away while aiming his camera phone at them.
"I was caught once and the husband argued with me, warning me not to show the pictures to anyone," said Darwinder.
Police are holding Darwinder and Siti in remand to assist with investigations and to surface further offences, which appear to have taken place over a prolonged period of time.