And things have taken a turn for the superstitious in 2018.
A 51-year-old domestic helper in Singapore has been sacked after she allegedly instigated her 88-year-old employer, Huang, to sell his three-room-flat, Lianhe Wanbao reported on Oct. 29, 2018.
Half of the S$200,000 profit was reportedly spent in five years, by both employer and helper.
When the helper's employment was terminated, she allegedly threatened to curse Huang's entire family, whereupon they made a police report.
Apartment meant for retirement
Speaking to the Chinese daily, two of Huang's nieces revealed that the helper, whose name is Muji, had worked in the family for eight years.
They added that their uncle was a "rational" man, but became increasingly susceptible to Muji's suggestions five years ago.
The helper even convinced Huang to sell his apartment that was meant for retirement.
Huang was left homeless after the sale, and his nieces had to take him and Muji in.
The elder niece, who is 50-years-old, said that Muji had successfully asked for a pay raise from more than S$500 to more than S$700 a month.
Visiting the temple
The housing sale left the two nieces suspicious, as it was out-of-character for their uncle to do so.
They continued to find Huang especially accommodating to Muji for the next few years, but only decided to step in recently.
A few months ago, when Muji was away for a hometown visit, Huang's nieces persuaded him to visit a temple in order to "lift the curse".
Wanbao reported that after Huang came to his senses, he terminated the helper's employment.
Muji returned to Indonesia on August 24.
S$50,000 spent on helper
Subsequently, Huang elaborated on how he spent S$100,000 from the flat sale.
Huang's family calculated that he spent about S$2,000 a month previously, although his current expenditure only amounts to S$500 monthly.
After deducting his expenses (S$500) and the helper's salary (S$700), it would mean that Huang spent about S$800 on Muji every month, for the past five years.
That's about S$50,000 in total, in addition to her monthly salary.
Wanbao wrote that when the elder niece returned the helper her salary and clothes through the mail, the latter allegedly sent her a WhatsApp message saying that she will return to Singapore next month to "place a curse" on the family for the rude treatment she received.
That was when the family made the police report.
The police has confirmed with Wanbao that such a report was indeed made.
Slept in the same room as employer
Huang's elder niece disclosed that Muji and her uncle slept in the same room, and criticised the helper for not doing chores.
She added that Muji had a fondness for shopping and dressing up. The helper also stuck closely to Huang.
The helper would even wear make-up at home, and allegedly dragged Huang out for weekly shopping trips, all of which he paid for.
The niece said that her own household already had a helper when Huang and Muji moved in, and Muji did not help out at all subsequently.
Instead, Muji only took care of Huang's daily needs.
According to Wanbao, Muji had told the older niece that it's more convenient to sleep in the same room as Huang, as she has to help him to the toilet at night.
The niece added:
"I've tried paying her to do the chores, but after two days, she would complain that it's too much and even asked my uncle to help, which made me very angry."
Set up a business in Indonesia
Huang's younger niece, 39, revealed to Wanbao that Muji once cajoled Huang to start a business with her in Indonesia.
This was apparently the reason why Huang was so eager to sell his house.
He was allegedly planning to use the sum to start a small business in Indonesia and move there for his retirement.
However, whenever the family tried to reason with him, Huang would not listen.
Unfortunately, the family could do nothing as Huang insisted on selling his home back then.
This is not the first instance a helper in Singapore has been accused of using black magic: