From ‘Employer gets 21 months’ jail for maid abuse; appeals against conviction and sentence’, 7 Aug 2013, article by Elena Chong, ST
A woman, who was convicted of five charges of abusing her Indonesian maid in one of the “most distressing” domestic maid abuse cases in Singapore, was sentenced to 21 months’ jail on Wednesday.
Chan Huey Fern, 32, is appealing against conviction and sentence. Bail of $20,000 pending appeal is offered. The mother of two, who has seven other similar charges pending, was found guilty last week by District Judge Low Wee Ping of causing hurt to Ms Juwarti, 25, at her Buangkok Link flat between mid-December and Dec 31, 2010.
She was convicted of punching the maid in the eye, kicking her body and private parts several times.
The court heard that she lashed out at the maid on Dec 31 that year when she found her son’s blanket on the floor in the children’s room. After kicking her repeatedly on her body, she called the maid to the kitchen where she kicked her again on the body and private parts several times, causing her to bleed.
The most sensational forms of domestic violence in Singapore isn’t between spouses, but between employers and their maids. As distressing as it is to get brutally kicked in the groin over something so trivial as a blanket, one can think of equally brutal, if not worse cases of maid abuse over the past 2 decades. Most of the senseless violence towards ‘the other woman’ of the house, startlingly, have been administered by women themselves.
Some cases of violence are utterly bizarre and border on torture-porn. In 2002, 30 year old Jennica Chow Yen Ping BIT ONE NIPPLE OFF her maid. She also tried to disfigure her face with a knife as punishment for not asking what she wanted for breakfast. Other than inflicting horrific carnage on another human being and leaving her with one nipple less, Chow spent most of the days as a HOSPITAL customer relations officer. In a less ferocious attack of the same body part, former air stewardess Aileen Khaw SQUEEZED her maid’s breast in between beatings of the eye and skull, all because the maid SCRATCHED HER HEAD while refilling an electric flask.
If you thought assaulting private parts over nothing was atrocious, how about yanking out two front teeth, as what 18 year old Nur Rizan did to her maid in 2008 while ganging up with 2 older female family members, a gruesome treatment that is as medieval as having your four limbs stretched by horses, or having your torso chewed by a pack of starving rats. Some maids may be spared the physical battery and scarring, but are subjected to acts of extreme depravity that would even put traditional back-whipping slavery to shame. An Indonesian maid was forced to eat DOG FAECES by a 37 year old woman and her teenage son in 1997. In 2008, Loke Phooi Ling, also 37, was slapped with a whopping 32 abuse charges, of which one was for scrubbing her maid’s mouth with STEEL WOOL and a TOILET BRUSH.
It’s sobering to realise that behind this facade of civility and grace befitting of a developed nation, despite the efforts spent on the ‘Kindness’ movement, there are still people amongst us who seem otherwise normal and treat their superiors or peers with gentle deference but would take the master and slave role-play well beyond the boundaries of morality. They would think nothing of rubbing bleach on their helpers’ wounds or dehumanising them through shocking ‘Human Centipede’ levels of degradation. These people don’t live in underground dungeons full of torture contraptions and spiked pits where they run victims through booby traps as part of some sadistic test of wills. They could very well be your next door neighbour.