Employers accused of starving Filipina maid for 15 months
SINGAPORE – A Singaporean couple claimed trial on Monday (Dec 14) to charges of failing to provide their former Filipino domestic worker with adequate food, causing her weight to drop by 20kg over a 15-month period.
Ms Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, weighed just 29kg when she was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH) in April last year, compared to 49 kg in Jan 2013.
Her former employer, Lim Choo Hong, 47, faces one charge of contravening Condition 1 in Part 1 of the Fourth Schedule to the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012.
Lim’s wife, Chong Sui Foon, 47, meanwhile faces a count of abetting Lim in committing the offense.
A TTSH doctor who attended to Ms Thelma after she was taken to the hospital’s emergency department by a shelter on April 29 last year told the court that she had said she was given insufficient food.
She also complained of difficulty sleeping, and had not had her menses for about a year.
When asked about her food intake, she told doctors that she was given two meals a day.
Her ration consisted only of bread and instant noodles.
At a review at the hospital in June last year, after she was discharged, she weighed 43kg.
If convicted, Lim and Chong both face a fine of up to $10,000, imprisonment of up to 12 months, or both.
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