State Courts, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
State Courts, Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 35-year-old Singaporean woman was fined the maximum penalty of S$5,000 (US$3,657) on Thursday after pleading guilty in court to bringing a 13-year-old girl from Myanmar to Singapore as a foreign domestic worker.

The court learned that Khor Siew Tiang, the sole proprietor of Vista Employment Services, introduced a Myanmar national named Htet Htet Phyo Wai. In the paperwork lodged with the Ministry of Manpower, the job applicant was declared to be 23 years old, Shin Min Daily News reported.

Later investigations by the ministry revealed that the applicant held a passport with a false date of birth, and that in fact she was only 13 years old. The minimum age for foreign maids in Singapore is 23 years.

Khor, represented by a lawyer, told the court that since the girl was taller than others whom she had encountered, she trusted the information provided by her Myanmar agent and stated in the girl’s passport.

On Thursday, she pleaded guilty to failing to ensure that the maid met the minimum age requirement.

While the judge agreed that it was not intentional, he dismissed a plea for leniency. He pointed out that as a veteran employment agent with 12 years in the industry, Koh should have the ability as well as the responsibility to carry out necessary checks to ensure that applicants fulfill all legal requirements.