Maid abuse: Couple face more charges of ill-treating maids

IT manager Tay Wee Kiat and his wife Chia Yun Ling were in court on 03 July 2014 to face 32 charges, mainly of maid abuse. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
IT manager Tay Wee Kiat and his wife Chia Yun Ling were in court on 03 July 2014 to face 32 charges, mainly of maid abuse. -- ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A couple who have been earlier charged with abusing their two domestic workers were given additional charges on Thursday.

Sales manager Chia Yun Ling, 39, faces eight Ministry of Manpower charges while her husband, IT manager Tay Wee Kiat, 37, has two.

In the fresh charges, Chia is accused of failing to provide enough food and rest to her Myanmar maid Moe Moe Than, 26, during her employment from December 2011 to November 2012. She is also accused of ill-treating the Myanmar maid by forcing her to eat sugar-mixed rice on two occasions; forcing her to remove her blouse and work without a top; restricting her use of the toilet and causing her to pass motion into a plastic bag.

Her husband, Tay, allegedly caused alarm to their Indonesian maid, Ms Fitriyah, 32, in February 2011 by threatening to make her sleep with men to earn money to buy an air ticket home. In August 2012, he allegedly threatened to hire someone to kill her family in Indonesia.

Their lawyer Wee Pan Lee told the court his clients are claiming trial.

Last month, Chia was charged with 11 counts - seven of causing hurt to Ms Than and two for slapping and punching Ms Fitriyah, and one each of insulting modesty and forcing sugar into Ms Than's mouth and making her swallow her vomit.

Tay, who faces 21 police charges, allegedly caused hurt to both maids, abetting each of them to hurt the other, offering a bribe and abetting Ms Fitriyah to give false information to the police.

Except for one, all the alleged offences took place in 2012 at the couple's home in Yishun Avenue 6.

A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Aug 11.

If convicted of failing to bear the cost of repatriation and the salaries charge, Chia could be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months each.

Each of the other MOM charges carries a maximum of $5,000 fine and six months' jail.