Close  

Jail, fine for Singapore couple who starved Filipina maid

/ 02:19 PM March 27, 2017
Chong Sui Foon (front) and Lim Choon Hong, arriving at the State Courts on Monday (March 27). THE STRAITS TIMES PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

Chong Sui Foon (front) and Lim Choon Hong, arriving at the State Courts on Monday (March 27). THE STRAITS TIMES PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

SINGAPORE — A Singaporean couple who pleaded guilty to starving their Filipina maid were jailed and fined on Monday.

Freelance trader Lim Choon Hong, 47, was sentenced to three weeks’ jail and fined $10,000 (P359,000). His wife Chong Sui Foon, also 47, was jailed for three months.

ADVERTISEMENT

The prosecution, which is asking for the maximum sentence of one year’s jail for both, is appealing. The couple are on bail of $3,000 (P107,800) each pending the appeal.

Lim was convicted in March last year of a charge of contravening the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012 which requires employers to pay and provide adequate food and medical treatment for their domestic helpers. Chong was found guilty of abetting Lim in committing the offense.

FEATURED STORIES

READ: Singaporean couple convicted of starving Filipina maid

The couple provided Filipino domestic worker Thelma Oyasan Gawidan with only two meals a day at their previous condominium home at Boulevard Residence in Cuscaden Walk, causing the 40-year-old’s weight to drop from 49kg to 29kg over a 15-month period.

The first meal, which was usually provided at around 1am to 2am, comprised two to three slices of plain white bread and one to two packets of instant noodles. Occasionally, Chong would mix small portions of vegetables and meat with the instant noodles.

The second meal, which was provided in the late morning or early afternoon, would consist of five to six slices of plain white bread.

Lim bought Gawidan’s food. Lim, Chong and their children ate different food, which was greater in quantity and higher in nutritional value than what their helper was rationed with.

Gawidan also had to ask for permission before drinking water, and Chong would give her water from the tap. Gawidan stopped menstruating after February 2013 and her hair started falling out a few months later.

Chong also forbade Gawidan from using the toilets in their home. The domestic worker had to use the common toilet in the condominium. Gawidan was also allowed to shower once or twice a week and Chong would stand inside the toilet while she showered.

ADVERTISEMENT

During the trial, Lim said his wife had previously suffered from anorexia nervosa — an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat — and from obsessive-compulsive disorder. Due to her preferences, he said their lifestyle “revolved around food and cleanliness.”/rga

RELATED STORIES

Filipina maid starved for 15 months testifies employers watched every move

Starved PH maid’s employer says wife isn’t evil, ‘just unfortunate’

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: abuse, domestic helper, Filipina, helper, maid, OFW, Singapore, starve, starved, Thelma Gawidan, Thelma Oyasan Gawidan
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
newsinfo

3-month jail term for pangolin traders

July 23, 2019 05:34 AM

newsinfo

Another La Union town says no to coal plants

July 23, 2019 05:33 AM

newsinfo

Inquirer reporter wins LaSallian Scholarum Award

July 23, 2019 05:31 AM

newsinfo

COA: DOST fails to collect P251M

July 23, 2019 05:30 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.