Maid jailed four weeks after falsely accusing employers of abuse

Susilawati Narsim Sunah pleaded guilty to one count of giving false information to a police officer on Nov 5, last year. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - An Indonesian maid was jailed for four weeks on Wednesday (April 19) after lying to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) and the police, claiming that her employer's elderly wife had physically abused her multiple times.

Susilawati Narsim Sunah, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of giving false information to a police officer on Nov 5, last year.

A second charge for a similar offence involving an MOM officer was taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that Susilawati, who was unrepresented, had lied as she wanted to return home to Indonesia.

She started working for Mr Peh Hoon Seng, 85 and his wife Madam Lim Chin Ai, 83, in their Hougang flat on April 7, last year.

But on Nov 4, Susilawati took a taxi to the MOM services centre at Bendemeer Road and told an officer there that Madam Lim had abused her.

The next day, the maid went to the Ang Mo Kio Police Division Headquarters and repeated the same lies to a policewoman.

She claimed that Madam Lim, whom she referred to as "Ah Ma" had assaulted her five times between April 20 and Nov 4, last year.

She also told Senior Staff Sergeant Noor Syahirah Halil that Madam Lim had slapped her as she was too slow in taking her a glass of water. She also accused the old woman of hitting her left leg with a walking stick.

The elderly couple had statements recorded during the investigations and both denied the allegations. Madam Lim also highlighted that she has difficulty moving around without her walking aid.

Susilawati only came clean when a deputy public prosecutor (DPP) from the Attorney-General's Chambers interviewed her on Jan 13.

On Wednesday, DPP Zulhafni Zulkeflee said: "The accused admitted that Ah Ma had never abused her during the period of employment. She had concocted the lies because she wanted to return home to Indonesia.

"She had not received a reply from her employer at that point and decided to take matters into her own hands by raising the false allegations."

For giving false information to a police officer, Susilawati could have been jailed up to a year and fined up to $5,000.

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