Saturday, March 19, 2011

China Mistress, The Home-Wrecker

Divorcee's Lonely War Against China 'Mistresses' 
by Maureen Koh

SHE leaves her four-room HDB flat in Clementi early in the morning and takes a bus to Chinatown, where she will spend the day.
It is a ritual she faithfully carries out four times a week. Her mission: To seek out "odd" couples, or rather, mainland Chinese women with middle- aged Singaporean men.
And when she spots "those suspicious ones", she whips out her digital camera, a voice recorder and a notepad. Madam Tay Wanqing, 46, is not a private investigator tailing and spying on adulterous men. She is out for revenge.
"It's war," she declared to The New Paper at her flat, "against these women who break up other people's families."
Stacked neatly in one bedroom, which is locked whenever Madam Tay leaves her home, are boxes of what she calls "incriminating evidence against the cheap women". 

Categorised info
The boxes are separated into three groups: "Case Closed", "In Progress" and "Given Up".
She declined to show its contents. What started out as a personal vendetta against mistresses has turned into an obsession for the housewife and mother of a teenager.
Unable to convince her to give up her obsession, her family members recently stopped all contact with her.
In a separate interview, her brother, Mr Tay Wantian, said: "Of course I love my sister, but it's like my parents and I have given up hope on her.
"We feel that she's gone off the deep end."
Madam Tay is aware of her family's objections and unhappiness. But she insists that she, too, is helpless.
"My brother keeps saying that I've gone mad, but if I stopped what I'm doing, I'd really go crazy," she said.
"I lost my husband after 25 years of marriage and I lost my son. What else do I have to live for?"
She was spurred into playing vigilante by her husband's previous affairs - three, she claimed - with Chinese nationals in 10 years.
Madam Tay said: "By the third affair, I gave up all hope and realised that no matter what happened, there'd always be another woman."
The couple, who have an 18-year-old son, filed for divorce in 2009.
That marked the start of her mission: To wipe out all the "wu ya" (crows) and "xiao long nu" (little dragon women). These are derogatory terms used to describe women from China.
Said Madam Tay: "I felt something had to be done. I didn't have anyone to help me when my husband was cheating on me and I had to depend on private investigators, which cost me money.
"Here, I don't charge anyone for my services."
Madam Tay was reluctant to elaborate on her "spying" techniques, adding that she was worried it would give her away and hinder her work. When she is on a mission, she scans the area for odd-looking couples.
She claimed to have learnt to tell the difference between married couples and adulterous pairs. She said her hunches have been about "90 per cent" correct so far.
After she has surreptitiously snapped pictures and taken videos of the couple, her next job is to track the men. But here's where she sometimes faces an obstacle.
Said Madam Tay: "I don't drive and some of these men do. I usually have to call for a cab, but if I don't get one, then it means starting all over again."
For the men whose addresses she has successfully uncovered, she will return another day to "present her evidence and break the news".
She admitted: "But not everyone appreciates my kaypoh (busybody) ways."
Sometimes, Madam Tay takes things into her own hands and confronts the mistresses.
She said: "I create a scene in public to shame them."
Hers is a dangerous obsession. She has been beaten before, by both the mistresses and the cheating men. Once, a man even called the police to complain of being harassed.
Madam Tay was let off with a warning.
Despite that, she is determined to continue with her mission because "for every one woman I can help, it's a point in heaven for me", she said.
With her approval, we spoke to one such grateful woman. Shop assistant Emily Yeo, 42, had suspected that her husband of five years was having an affair.
She told The New Paper: "But given my $1,000 a month salary, I couldn't afford a PI."
Madam Yeo, who has a five-year-old daughter, said she was shocked when Madam Tay knocked on her door on National Day last year.
She said: "At first I thought she was the mistress. Then, she showed me photos and a blurry video recording of my husband being intimate with a Chinese beer promoter."
Both women "hugged each other and cried for an hour".
Madam Yeo, who has filed for divorce, said: "I think my pain was dulled because I had (Madam Tay's) support."
Women like Madam Yeo give Madam Tay the strength to go on.
Said Madam Tay: "I still have my savings, but if that is depleted one day, I'm prepared to sell the flat."


Hubby Had Three Affairs
MADAM Tay Wanqing said her woes began in June 1999, when she learnt of her businessman husband's first affair with a Chinese study mama. The woman was working as a part-time cleaner in his food manufacturing company.
Madam Tay's husband fired the woman and, said Madam Tay, "we were happy for a while". The couple even went on a month-long second honeymoon trip to Europe.
But, in 2002, she noted a change in her husband's wardrobe and behaviour.
"He started wearing trendier colours and kept late nights," said Madam Tay.
Suspicious of her husband, she spent more than $2,000 to hire a private investigator (PI) who tracked her cheating spouse for eight days. She said she found out that her husband had setup a love nest with a karaoke hostess.
Madam Tay said: "I was so furious that I went to the condominium (unit) to confront the woman. She challenged me, telling me I should know how to keep my husband under control."
Madam Tay said she confronted her husband, who promptly promised to end the affair. But Madam Tay had a breakdown and was warded at the Institute of Mental Health for three months.
She said it strained her relationship with her son.
Said Madam Tay: "It was the worst time of my life. I swore I'd never allow him to hurt me again."
Again, her husband promised to change. He behaved for a few years - until late 2005, she said. This time, she spent $3,000 to hire another PI for 10 days.
The PI gathered enough evidence to show that her husband was cheating on her with a mamasan, Madam Tay said. It was the last straw and she filed for a divorce.
She said: "I realised that no matter what, my husband would never change his ways."
Madam Tay was given joint custody of her son, but he chose to live with his father.
"It hurt to be betrayed by the two men I love." 

Upset family wants her to 'come to her senses'
WHILE Madam Tay Wanqing is passionate about being a champion for wives with cheating husbands, her family members feel otherwise.
They are upset that everything they've done to convince Madam Tay to give up her obsession has been unsuccessful. And when this reporter first contacted her brother, Mr Tay Wantian, he was upset to learn that The New Paper would be running an interview with his only sister.
Mr Tay, 50, who runs a hair salon, said: "I think it's not right to encourage my sister, not when we feel she seriously needs help with her mental state."
His parents, who are in their late 70s, have "sort of disowned my sister", he added, "and you can't blame them".
Aside from worrying about her mental well-being, Mr Tay said they were also concerned over her personal safety.
"She has been beaten up before, yet she refuses to stop," he said.
"We know she needs to focus on something but spending her time and money this way is madness."
He is particularly worried because Madam Tay has always been an introvert and has few friends.
"Even when she was suffering because of her husband's infidelity, she didn't confide in us.
"It was only when she had to be warded at the Institute of Mental Health that we found out what happened."
When Madam Tay was discharged, he and his parents advised her to leave her husband.
Mr Tay said: "But my sister said she could not live without him and chose to give him another chance.
"Sceptical as we were, we supported Qing."
But following that, Madam Tay gradually withdrew from the family, said Mr Tay.
"She visited my parents less often and when they called, she'd just say she was busy with housework," he said.
It wasn't until Madam Tay was beaten up by one of the women that the family found out what she was doing.
Mr Tay said: "We were so shocked. My mother kept pleading with Qing to let go of the past and start life anew."
He added: "We've cajoled, we've shouted, we've threatened and we've begged her, but she's too stubborn to listen.
"She even threatened to kill herself if we pushed her too much."
Attempts to get Madam Tay to seek professional counselling were also unsuccessful, said Mr Tay.
"Much as we know she is hurting badly, there's only so much we can do to try and help her," he added.
"We can only hope she'll come to her senses one day, soon, before it's too late." 

This article was first published in The New Paper - Wednesday, March 16, 2011.


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