A woman who threw a mop head at a maid and caused swelling on her forehead was jailed one month on Tuesday (15 May)
Zuliana Ode Oge, 42, pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one count of voluntarily causing hurt to Onaya, a 32-year-old Indonesian maid, who goes by one name. Onaya had been working for Zuliana’s household in Sengkang for less than two months when the incident occurred.
On the evening of 23 October 2017, both women were in the house when Zuliana found that Onaya had not tidied up her bedroom to her satisfaction. Frustrated, Zuliana took a mop into her bedroom and cleaned the floor herself. She scolded Onaya, who took a vacuum cleaner to clean the bedroom.
Zuliana continued scolding the maid and banged her mop against the floor, causing the mop’s head to detach from the stick. She then picked up the detached piece and flung it at Onaya’s face, hitting the maid on her forehead.
Onaya felt pain from the impact and cried while she continued cleaning the bedroom. When Zuliana saw that the maid’s forehead was swelling, she got some ice for Onaya to ease her injury.
Two days after the incident, Onaya used a public telephone to report the incident to her maid agent. The agent requested the Onaya’s employer to send her back and later filed a report with the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).
MOM referred Onaya to the police before sending her to the hospital where she was found to have a bruise on her forehead. She was discharged with medication.
While the prosecution sought a six-week jail term for Zuliana, her lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy asked for three weeks. The lawyer said that his client had made voluntary compensation of $1,000 to Onaya.
He said that his client “let her frustration get the better of her” and had apologised to Onaya after the incident.
District Judge John Ng accepted that Zuliani had lost her temper in the one-off incident, but he added that maids were vulnerable workers who needed to feel safe in their working environment.
“They live within our home in unfamiliar surroundings and need to listen to their employers and other household members….(They need to live) with absolutely no fear for their safety and without any danger,” he said.