Banquet manager jailed four weeks for maid abuse

Muhamad Al-Hafiz Nordin, 31, was jailed for four weeks for maid abuse.
Muhamad Al-Hafiz Nordin, 31, was jailed for four weeks for maid abuse.ST FILE
Madam Nuraini Hassan at the Subordinate Courts on March 6, 2014.
Madam Nuraini Hassan at the Subordinate Courts on March 6, 2014.ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A banquet manager who slapped and hit his Indonesian maid was jailed for four weeks on Wednesday.

Muhamad Al-Hafiz Nordin, 31, admitted to two of three charges of maid abuse at his flat in Edgefield Plains in Punggol in 2012.

His wife, Nuraini Hassan, 31, had employed the maid, Yulianti, 24, in January 2012 to do household chores and take care of their then two-year-old daughter. She has also been charged with abusing Ms Yulianti, but her case is at pre-trial conference stage.

Ms Yulianti, who goes by one name, was not given the house keys when she was alone at home taking care of the couple's daughter.

Al-Hafiz treated the victim well during her first few months with the family. He started abusing her in April, JuIy and August that year, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Selene Yap.

Sometime in April that year, the girl spilled water on the floor in the living room.

Nuraini scolded Ms Yulianti for using a rag which was used to clean the cat's cage to clean the spilled water, even though the domestic worker had rinsed and cleaned the rag before that.

When her husband returned home, Nuraini told him of what the victim did. Al-Hafiz scolded her and slapped her once on the face.

On Aug 5, the victim was in the kitchen when Al-Hafiz told her that the water in the baby milk bottle steamer had a dry stain, and that she had failed to clean it.

It was Nuraini who had been sterilising the baby milk bottles, and the victim was not taught how to operate the steamer.

The victim did not explain this to Al-Hafiz and merely apologised to him. He struck her head hard twice, causing her pain. She also felt giddy after the assault.

Two days later, the maid escaped from the unit by climbing out from the third-floor service balcony and made her way to the second floor ledge. There, she jumped and landed on the ground floor and had abrasions on her arm.

Al-Hafiz's counsel, Mr Sunil Sudheesan and Ms Diana Ngiam, said their client, a father of three, is the sole breadwinner for the family.

Mr Sunil said Ms Yulianti's weight loss of 20kg was not attributable to his client or his wife but due to her inability to cope with certain dietary issues. This was confirmed by Ms Yap.

Counsel also said his client had paid $5,000 to the maid at the Indonesian Embassy early last year.

The maximum penalty for causing hurt to a domestic worker is a $7,500 fine and three years' jail.

elena@sph.com.sg