Maid was punched, slapped for eating fish not meant for her, court told

In 2012, a Filipino maid jumped from the bedroom window of a sixth-floor condominium unit to escape the alleged abuse by her employer and her employer's mother.

A district court heard that she landed on the fifth-floor rooftop of another building at Maplewoods condominium and broke her legs as a result.

Her employer, Chua Siew Peng, 43, went on trial yesterday for wrongfully confining Ms Jonna Memeje Muegue at the Bukit Timah Road condominium on Oct 30, 2012, and slapping her the night before.

Her 74-year-old mother, retired radiograph and medicine technician Lum Wai Lui, will know her fate next month for allegedly pulling the maid's hair, knocking her head on the wall and pouring bleach on her hands and arms on Oct 29 that year.

Chua's 41-year-old sister, Kathleen Chua Siew Wei, is also accused of slapping the maid sometime in May that year.

Yesterday, Ms Muegue, 26, who is now working for another employer, testified that she was initially treated well when she started work in December 2011.

She said she was never given the key to the unit's door and gate from the time she began working for the family.

She said Lui, whom she called "por por" (grandmother), punished her for eating fish that was not meant for her on Oct 29 that year. After Lum found out, she punched, slapped and slammed Ms Muegue's head against the wall of the kitchen toilet.

Ms Muegue said: "She used bleach on me and she poured bleach on my hands and my body."

A few minutes later, she said, Chua Siew Peng came in and pulled her hair and slapped her many times.

Chua then told her to stand in one corner of the toilet and to take a shower at around midnight.

In the morning, she was alone in the flat when she climbed out of a bedroom window and escaped.

She was later referred to the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics and a police report was lodged. She was warded in hospital and then admitted to a nursing home.

The hearing continues.

elena@sph.com.sg