Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A Singaporean couple who had been found guilty of abusing their 34-year-old Indonesian domestic worker in March 2017 were found guilty again on Monday of abusing their 31-year-old Myanmar domestic worker after a 14-day trial.

Tay Wee Kiat, 41, and his wife Chia Yun Ling, 43, hired Myanmar national Moe Moe Than in January 2012 as an assistant to their first domestic worker Fitriyah, an Indonesian national, the Shin Min Daily News reported.

During her 10 months of employment between January and November at their home in Yishun Avenue 6, Moe Moe Than was required to help Fitriyah with domestic chores and look after the couple’s three children.

She was made to work without days-off, which were not compensated by the legal S$20 alternative. Her salaries were delayed and settled only by the time she was sent back home by the defendants.

The court also learned that the woman wedged a funnel into the mouth of Moe Moe Than and forced a mixture of rice and sugar down her throat after she complained about not having enough to eat.

Other abuses by Chia included ordering the woman to eat her own vomit when she threw up, caning and threatening the victim by saying that she would hire an assassin to kill her family members in Myanmar.

Meanwhile, the man also abused her through acts such as caning and kicking her while she was made to keep a “push-up position.” The most insulting time was when the man ordered the two maids to slap each other after claiming they had moved a piece of cloth on an altar table in the flat without his permission.

The abuse came to the attention of Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower when the Myanmar victim was sent home by the couple on November 12 of the same year and filed a complaint with her local employment agency.

The ministry referred the woman about a month later to a medical examination at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, where she was found with injuries, including scars on her left forearm and right wrist. The doctor also noted that Moe Moe Than was undernourished.

On Monday, District Judge Olivia Low convicted Chia of eight assault charges, one count of using abusive words towards the Myanmar worker and six offenses under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act. The man was also convicted of six assault charges.

The couple were offered bail of S$15,000 (US$11,048) each and expected to be sentenced on March 18.

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