Thinking Aloud

Same old, same old, maid abuse cases are a blight on Singapore

Past cases make clear that current safeguards are inadequate - all the more so in an affluent country that has allowed so many to work here

Gaiyathiri Murugayan pleaded guilty to 28 charges on Feb 23, 2021 for abusing her domestic helper Ms Piang Ngaih Don. PHOTOS: HELPING HANDS FOR MIGRANT WORKERS, LIANHE WANBAO
New: Gift this subscriber-only story to your friends and family

Ms Piang Ngaih Don came to Singapore in May 2015 as a 22-year-old Myanmarese out of her country for the first time, to work as a domestic maid for Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, and her husband Kevin Chelvam, 42.

She died 14 months later in July 2016. The autopsy report counted 31 recent scars and 47 external injuries. Her hyoid bone, which holds the tongue to the neck, was broken, most likely from Gaiyathiri shaking her like a rag doll, according to the forensic pathologist.

Already a subscriber? 

Read the full story and more at $9.90/month

Get exclusive reports and insights with more than 500 subscriber-only articles every month

Unlock these benefits

  • All subscriber-only content on ST app and

  • Easy access any time via ST app on 1 mobile device

  • E-paper with 2-week archive so you won't miss out on content that matters to you

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.