Woman, 67, jailed five weeks for abusing two maids

Wan Ting Koh
·Reporter
·2-min read
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Woman raising her hand in front of her face. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Months after her maid had fled due to abuse, a woman employed a second maid, and also abused her.

Elizabeth Poh Chiew Lian, 67, was jailed for five weeks on Thursday (4 February) for the abuses. She had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of voluntarily causing hurt to the two maids, with four counts of a similar nature taken into consideration for sentencing.

Poh was also ordered to pay compensation of $2,980.

The first victim was Indonesian Munawaroh, 40, who was employed by Poh from 2 June to 22 July 2018. She worked from 6am to 10pm daily and earned a monthly salary of $550, and she was Poh’s fourth domestic helper in three years.

Little more than a month into Munawaroh’s duties, Poh began to abuse her. According to her charge sheets, she called the maid “idiot” and “stupid”, poured water on her head and hit her on the back with her shoe.

On 15 June 2018, unhappy with Munawaroh for failing to perform duties to her standard, Poh pinched her right upper arm. On 8 July 2018, Poh became angry with Munawaroh for her work attitude and pinched her right wrist area.

Unable to tolerate the abuse, Munawaroh fled on 22 July 2018, taking a taxi with the intention of going to her maid agency. Due to a misunderstanding, the taxi driver brought her instead to a police station, where the maid lodged a police report.

According to a medical report from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital dated 27 August 2018, bruises were found on Munawaroh's arms.

Continue her abuse with second maid

The second victim, Myanmar national Moe Moe San, began work for Poh on 1 March 2019. She worked from 5am to 10pm daily and drew a monthly salary of $520.

However Poh would take out her anger on the maid too. On 8 March 2019, she became angry at Moe Moe San for not knowing how to switch on and off the gas stove, despite her repeatedly teaching the maid how to do so.

After this, as the helper washed clothes in the toilet near the kitchen, Poh became angry at her washing method. She hit Moe Moe San on her left upper arm and brushed her aside.

After the helper realised that she sustained a bruise from the incident, she called her brother in Myanmar and informed him that her employer had hit her. The police were then alerted.

For causing hurt, Poh could have been jailed for up to two years and fined a maximum of $5,000, or both. For hurting a maid under her employment, she could have faced one-and-a-half times the maximum penalty.

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