Various forms of domestic worker abuse can take place on a daily basis, but if it’s something that persists for months, justice cannot be silenced.
This is exactly the reason why migrant workers, including Filipino domestic helpers must know their basic rights under the Singapore law so as to protect themselves from various forms of abuse, especially from their employers who have the responsibility to secure their interest and welfare while working overseas.
Woman Convicted of Forcing Maid to Pour Hot Water on Herself, Drink Dirty Water
Last January 18 (Friday), a couple who have refused to pay their Burmese domestic helper’s salary for almost one year were found guilty on charges of assaulting her for over a period of three (3) months back in 2016, as shared in a report by Yahoo News Singapore.
The female employer identified as Linda Seah Lei Sie, 39, who works as a beauty salon manager at ANew Me Beauty Aesthetic at The Centrepoint, was convicted of six accounts of causing harm to her domestic helper, Phyu Phyu Mar, whom she employed from February to October 2016.
The woman’s husband, interior designer Lim Toon Leng, 44, was also convicted of one similar charge. Lim is a director and shareholder of the salon where her wife works at.
By end of August and September 2016, Seah allegedly forced Phyu to pour hot water on herself around her left shoulder.
Over the period, Seah also forced the maid to hit her head on the floor, drink contaminated water mixed with floor cleaner, and other forms of physical harassment such as pulling her hair and shaking her.
According to reports, Seah had also used a mobile phone to hit Phyu several times on the forehead, left eye, and left hand on October 13, 2016. On the same day, Lim also punched Phyu on the forehead twice.
During a visit to the beauty salon, an employee noticed that Phyu had a bad bruise and a swollen left eye, as well as a burn injury on her left shoulder. This prompted the employee to call the police on October 14, 2016 to report the maid’s condition.
Police officers went to the couple’s Punggol Walk flat where the crimes were allegedly performed, and interviewed both Seah and Phyu regarding the incident.
Lim is out on SGD 5,000 bail while his wife, Seah, is out on SGD 10,000 bail. The couple who have a 5-year old daughter are scheduled to sentenced on February 11.
In Singapore, the maximum penalty for causing harm is up to two years imprisonment and a fine of up to SGD 5,000 per charge. If a crime is committed by an employer of a maid or a family member in the same household, the offender is liable to 1.5 times the punishment.