Domestic Workers Abused At The Hands Of Singapore Employers
Foreign domestic workers come to Singapore in search of a better job to support their families back home. For years, Singaporeans have relied on domestic help to support their own families here. But behind closed doors, some maids suffer abuse at the hands of their employers. Read the cases of abuse that struck horror in the heartlands of Singapore.
1) Solichah, Abused between 2011-2013
A couple was sentenced in May 2015 for abusing their Indonesian domestic worker Solichah for slapping and threatening her from 2011 to 2013.
42 year-old Khairani Abdul Rahman and her husband Rosman Anwar, 47, started abusing their domestic worker one month into her job in August 2011. They slapped her whenever she made a mistake. Solichah said that the employers told her that “they have the right to slap my face, to push my head and to scold me, because they are paying my salary”.
They even threatened to send her to Batam to “sell her body”.
Khairani Abdul Rahman was sentenced to jail for four weeks while husband Rosman Anwar was sentenced to jail for two weeks.
2) Jonna Memeje Muegue, Abused in 2012
74 year-old retired radiographer and medicine technician, Lum Wai Lui punched, slapped and slammed her Filippino maid Jonna Memeje Muegue against the wall in 2012. Minutes after, her daughter Chua Siew Peng arrived, pulled Jonna’s hair and slapped her. The maid was told to stand in a corner and shower at midnight.
All because Muegue ate the salmon that was not meant for her.
Though Lum treated Muegue well initially, the employer soon became abusive months into the employment. Lum poured bleach on Muegue’s hands and body. The following day, Muegue tried to escape by jumping out of the window of a condominium where she was confined. She broke her legs and was hospitalised. She was later helped by a nursing home.
Jonna Memeje Muegue above and Chua Siew Peng below.
Lum Wai Lui, 74, was found guilty but the case has been adjourned to June 29 for mitigation and for the defence to get a psychiatric report from the Institute of Mental Health.
3) Juwarti, Abused in 2010
Chan Huey Fern, 33, abused her Indonesian maid, Juwarti, at her Buangkok flat between June and September 2010. She punched Juwarti’s eyes when the maid felt sleepy while taking care of Huey Fern’s two young children. She also hit the Juwarti’s back with a foldable chair.
Barely 12 days later, Juwarti was attacked for not monitoring the temperature of Huey Fern’s son. The employer pushed her head against the edge of a toilet doorway and kicked her private parts.
She also punched Juwarti’s the chest and kicked her in the groin until maid bled. Huey Fern had stamped the victims body on several separate incidences. The maid eventually fled for help from the house.
Chan Huey Fern was given a total of 24 months jail sentence.
4) Rinonos Analyn Almoite, Abused in 2011
Filipina maid Rinonos Analyn Almoite, 30 was abused by her employer in October 2011, one month after she began work.
Wong Pui Kwan, an ex property agent, caned the maid’s body and back, poured cooking oil on her and threw a chair at her. The abuser also insulted her modesty by pulling the maid’s panties and shorts down to her feet for not cleaning her daughter’s mouth properly .
Wong Pui Kwan was jailed for 12 months.
5) Lilis Sriyatun, Abused in 2009
Housewife Soh Meiyun abused her Indonesian maid, Lilis Sriyatun, by using a bamboo pole to hit her back, head and thigh in 2009. She had also heated a metal spoon over a stove and pressed it against her maid’s arm. In the final incident, Soh forced her helper to strip before using a needle to poke and scratch the victim’s body. Ms Sriyatun escaped after that incident.
Her husband, IT programmer Tang Leng Khuen, hit the maid on her back with a clothes hanger, and kicked her stomach.
Soh’s husband was jailed for four weeks for kicking his maid and hitting her back with a clothes hanger.
Soh Meiyun, 34, had her 16-month jail term reduced to a $15,000 fine in April last year, after she was diagnosed with both major depressive disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder during the time she abused her maid.
6) Maricel Campos Malbas, Abused in 2014
Filipino Maricel Campos Malbas was abused nine months into her job helping at the household of IT assistant Wong Ha Hing in 2014.
Ha Hing slapped Maricel after noticing his one year old son playing with a bottle of pepper in spite of his instructions to keep the child away from it. He also punched her in the head, causing a swell because according to him, she failed to keep the house clean.
For that, Wong Ha Hing was sentenced to jailed for three weeks starting 18 May 2015.
7) Neni Lestari, Abused in 2013
Ho Mei Li, a single mother who sells phone accessories, hit her maid for not hand-washing her children’s clothes in July 2013.
She came back to her flat drunk in the morning at 7am and became enraged when she found out that the maid had used the washing machine instead. Mei Li hit the maid and stamped her chest few times as the maid was lying down. The maid fled the flat, fearing for her life after Mei Li locked herself in her bedroom along with the maid’s personal belongings.
Neni Lestari went to her maid agency with the help of a passer-by and made a police report.
Ho Mei Li was sentenced to 3 weeks jail for maid abuse.
8) Mustainah Munari, Abused in 2012
A Singaporean woman, Nidhi Sinha, abused her Indonesia maid Mustainah Munari by using hot iron to hurt her legs and pouring hot water on her head.
Nidhi also hit the maid’s head with a showerhead until it broke, pulled her hair, banged her head against the wall, beat her with a clothes hanger and slapped her.
The trial has ben adjourned and currently Nidhi is out on a $15,000 bail.
If convicted she could be jailed for up to three years and/or fine up to $7,500. She also faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine for using a heated substance.
9) Unnamed Burmese helper , Abused in 2011
Tutor Low Gek Hong, 37, abused her 17-year-old maid from Myanmar over three months from December 2011 to February 2013.
She scratched the Burmese helper on the face, arms and ears for being inefficient, and used a pair of scissors to poke the victim’s left shoulder. All because the maid could not find a pillowcase that Low wanted changed.
Low also punished the maid by kicking her, biting her, and hitting her with a metal hanger, including once pouring a mug of hot water onto the victim’s back for falling asleep in the toilet.
The maid eventually pleaded for help from a neighbour who called the police. She had burns on her lower back, a broken left finger, bruises on her shins, arms and hands, and multiple scratch and bite marks.
Low Gek Hong was sentenced to nine months jail and ordered to pay the maid $5,000 compensation.
10) Tardem, Abused in 2012
Indonesian man Tardem was abused four times in one day. She was reprimanded by Noryanti Abdul Rahim, 40 for not closing the main door of her flat. Noryanti poked the maid’s head and slapped her face before dragging her by the shirt towards the toilet and kicked the maid’s left thigh.
She previously also hit Tardem’s head and shoulders multiple times with an aluminium strainer till it broke.
Tardem escaped by climbing out of the window of the second floor HDB flat and limped to her neighbour’s unit for help. The neighbour took her to the police station to make a report.
Employer Noryanti Abdul Rahim, 40, was jailed for three months.
Abused in silence
These horror stories are just the tip of the iceberg because many maid abuse cases go unreported. Domestic workers are no less deserving of respect and dignity. After all we are all humans, looking out for our family.
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