The neighborhood of Punggol Walk in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A Singaporean couple was found guilty in Singapore’s District Court on Friday of abusing a Myanmar woman who had been forced to self-harm and was deprived of meals and her salary between August and October 2016.

Linda Seah Lei Sie, 39, a beautician, and her husband, Lim Toon Leng, 44, an interior designer, hired Phyu Phyu Mar, who is in her 20s, as their domestic worker at their Punggol Walk home from February to October 2016, the Lianhe Wanbao (Singapore) reported.

During the 15-day trial, the court learned that Seah monitored the maid via the home security camera and found her performance “lackluster.”

In order to punish her, the female employer ordered the worker to boil some water in a kettle and pour the scalding hot content on her own left shoulder on two occasions in August and September 2016. The maid was also given a needle by Seah, who forced her to pop the blisters.

One day while Phyu was cleaning the floor, Seah ordered her to drink the bucket of wastewater which contained detergent and dog hair, causing Phyu to vomit and suffer diarrhea in the following days.

On October 13, 2016, Toon punched the maid’s forehead twice after he wrongly assumed she had thrown away his spectacles. Throughout her employment, Phyu did not receive her monthly salary of S$700 (US$514) until an intervention by the Ministry of Manpower in November that year.

The maid’s weight plunged to 38kg from 50kg because she had not been given proper meals and only allowed to eat uncooked noodles and biscuits. However, Seah claimed the maid put herself on a diet.

On January 18, the District Court judge found Seah guilty of five assault charges and one count of willfully causing harm using toxic chemicals, while her husband was found guilty of one count of assault.

They were expected to be sentenced on February 11, 2019.

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