A Singaporean couple who failed to provide enough food for their Filipina domestic worker were hit with longer jail terms on Friday by Singapore’s Supreme Court.
Chong Sui Foon, a 48-year-old housewife, had previously been jailed for three months, while her husband Lim Choon Hong, a freelance trader who is also 48, got three months in jail plus a S$10,000 (US$7,436) fine, The Straits Times reported.
The court appeared to take a dim view of the couple’s appeal – Chong’s jail term was increased to 10 months, while Lim’s punishment was also increased to 10 months in jail.
Filipina Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, now 41, was given only two meals a day – mostly plain white bread or instant noodles, plus water to drink – for 15 months during her employment at The Boulevard Residence condominium in Cuscaden Walk between January 2013 and April 2014.
Chong did not allow Gawidan to eat other food at home and barred the maid from shopping for food for her own consumption.
The effect on her health was severe. Gawidan, who initially had a healthy body weight of 49 kilograms, lost almost 20kg to only 29.4kg and she stopped menstruating after February 2013, then her hair started falling out shortly after.