Boss jailed after admitting to molesting maid

A domestic helper chided her male employer for taking photos of her while she was in the toilet, but instead of showing remorse, he molested her repeatedly a few weeks later.

Unable to tolerate the abuse, she fled from the Malaysian deliveryman's flat on May 29, 2017, and alerted the Ministry of Manpower the next day.

Yau Terng Phun, 56, was sentenced yesterday to 15 months and six weeks' jail. The Singapore permanent resident had earlier pleaded guilty to two molestation charges and one count of insulting the maid's modesty.

The 41-year-old woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, started working at Yau's flat in January 2017.

About two months later, while she was in the toilet, he snapped photos of her after placing his mobile phone over the toilet door.

Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren said: "The victim saw the accused's hand at the top of the toilet door and was shocked to see him using his handphone to take pictures of her.

"The victim immediately covered herself and scolded the accused for insulting her modesty. The accused was unremorseful and said he was just kidding." The DPP added that Yau, a married man, deleted the images a few days later.

The court heard that Yau and his wife were not on good terms and did not share a room. Instead, the wife slept in the same room as the maid.

Yau abused the maid again in mid-April 2017.


The Indonesian helper had decided to sleep in the living room as Yau's wife was on the phone in the room they shared.

The maid was jolted awake when she felt Yau touching her private parts. But even then, he did not stop, slipping his hand underneath her top to molest her again.

The DPP told District Judge Ong Luan Tze: "The victim immediately scolded the accused and told him that he had outraged her modesty. Instead of being remorseful, the accused replied that he can give the victim anything she wants.

"In reply, the victim said that she only wished to do the work of a domestic maid and will not do anything sexual."

Yau then returned to his own room. The maid finally ran away on May 29 that year.

For each count of molestation, offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned. Yau cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2019, with the headline 'Boss jailed after admitting to molesting maid'. Print Edition | Subscribe