Woman pleads guilty to abusing two of her maids in separate incidents

Elizabeth Poh Chiew Lian also poured water over the head of her Indonesian helper and berated her.
Elizabeth Poh Chiew Lian also poured water over the head of her Indonesian helper and berated her.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A woman who had employed four different domestic helpers in the three years up to 2018 physically abused one of them, including pinching the woman in the arm and hitting her on the back with a shoe.

Elizabeth Poh Chiew Lian also poured water over the head of her Indonesian helper and berated her, calling her "idiot" and "stupid".

Unable to tolerate any more abuse, Ms Munawaroh, 40, who goes by only one name, left Poh's Pasir Ris flat on July 22, 2018, and alerted the police.

The Singaporean later hired Ms Moe Moe San, 39, as her next maid. Poh continued with her abusive ways and the police were again alerted after the Myanmar national told her brother about her ordeal on March 8, 2019.

Poh, now 67, had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of causing hurt to Ms Munawaroh and an assault charge involving Ms Moe Moe San. Four other charges involving both maids will be considered during sentencing.

On Monday (Jan 25), Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min urged the court to sentence Poh to at least six weeks' jail.

She added: "Given that both victims suffered injury as a result of the offences, the prosecution submits that $500 is an appropriate amount for compensation for pain and suffering for each of the victim."

The DPP also pressed for more than $2,000 compensation for each woman over their loss of income.

The court heard that Ms Munawaroh started working for Poh on June 2, 2018. Poh pinched her on the right upper upper arm just 13 days later for "failing to perform her duties properly".

Poh was unhappy with the maid's "work attitude" on July 8, 2018, and pinched her on the right wrist. The maid left Poh's home two weeks later and lodged a police report.

Ms Moe Moe San started working for Poh on March 1, 2019.

The DPP said: "(A week later), the accused was angry at Moe for not knowing how to switch on and off the gas stove despite the accused teaching her how to do so multiple times.

"Immediately after this gas stove incident, Moe was washing clothes in the toilet near the kitchen when the accused entered the toilet and got angry at the way Moe was washing the clothes."

Poh then hit the maid on the left upper arm and brushed her aside. Ms Moe Moe San, who suffered a bruise as a result, phoned her brother to tell him what happened and the police were alerted. Poh will be sentenced on Feb 4.

For each count of maid abuse, she can be jailed for up to three years and fined up to $7,500.