IT assistant jailed for three weeks for abusing domestic helper

SINGAPORE - An IT assistant who slapped and punched a domestic worker was sentenced to three weeks' jail on Thursday.

Wong Ha Hing, 39, pleaded guilty to two of five charges of causing hurt to Filipina Maricel Campos Malbas, 34, at his flat in Canberra Road in Sembawang in June last year.

Ms Malbas was employed by Wong's wife, Madam Koay Geok Yen, 42, in September 2013 to do household chores and take care of Wong's mother and their three young children. This was her first job in Singapore.

About nine months later, Wong began physically abusing the maid.

The offences were discovered when the victim later wrote a note to a neighbouring maid to ask for help. The matter was reported to the police.

Investigation showed that on the first instance in June last year, Wong noticed that his one-year-old son was playing with a bottle of pepper,

He had previously instructed Ms Malbas that she should not allow his son to play with the bottle of pepper. He confronted her for not complying with his instructions and slapped her once on her face.

Further investigation showed that on another instance, Wong noticed that Ms Malbas had failed to upkeep the cleanliness of the house to his standards. He punched her on her head once, causing her bodily pain.

The victim subsequently noticed that the area she was punched had become swollen.

She was taken to hospital with a swelling on the head and a bruise on each of her left upper arm and buttock.

Three other charges of slapping her were considered during his sentencing.

Wong successfully applied to defer sentence until May 18 to settle work matters. He is out on $5,000 bail. He could have been jailed for up to 31/2 years and/or fined up to $7,500 on each charge.