Common as it may seem, but stories of domestic helper abuse have always been a recurring piece in the news. Sad as it is, especially for the victim’s family, the reality is that there isn’t enough support from laws to protect this population in places such as in Singapore.
Despite having raised common grievances by foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) to the government, rights groups still feel that laws in Singapore are not specifically designed to protect the rights and welfare of domestic helpers in the country.
Employer who Abused, Threatened Maid with Knife Sentenced to Prison
In relation to this, a woman who works as a clerk has allegedly pinched the face and arms of an Indonesian maid with so much force over a four-month period, which left fingernail marks on the victim’s body, as shared in a report by Yahoo! News Singapore.
In an isolated incident, Lee Siew Choon, 50, also tapped the side of her 23-year old Indonesian helper’s face with the side of a knife blade.
Last February 25 (Monday), the defendant was sentenced to serve three months and two weeks in jail, after pleading guilty to two charges of causing hurt and one count of using threatening behaviour causing alarm.
According to court statements, ‘Yani’ began working for Lee back in May 2016. Since she started her work, Yani would be required to wake up at 5:25 am every day to begin her work up until midnight.
Furthermore, Lee neither gave Yani any days off from work nor access to a mobile phone.
After being sentenced by court, Lee paid Yani SGD 6,828 in compensation. Lee will begin serving her time in prison on March 4.
The maximum punishment for causing hurt is up to two years’ jail and a fine of up to SGD 5,000 per charge raised. However, if the crime was committed by the employer of the domestic helper or a family member in the household, the perpetrator will be held liable to one and a half times the penalty given.