Longer jail term for man who abused Myanmar maid


Facing the law: Tay (left) and Chia have been accused of assaulting two maids. — The Straits Times/ANN

SINGAPORE: A former regional manager who assaulted his Myanmar maid – the second domestic worker he was convicted of abusing – had his jail term for the second set of charges raised from 24 months to 30 months by the High Court.The increase yesterday came after the prosecution appealed against the sentence imposed in March on Tay Wee Kiat, 41, on two charges relating to Moe Moe Than, 28.

The charges are for kicking Moe while she was in a push-up position and for instructing her to slap his other domestic worker, before making both maids worship in front of a Buddhist altar at home, even though one is a Christian and the other a Muslim.

Justice Hoo Sheau Peng agreed with prosecutors that Tay’s initial sentence did not adequately capture his criminality.

“Tay’s ill treatment of the victim took place over 11 months. He used implements such as a cane, a broomstick and a metal clothing hook. He caused both physical as well as psychological harm. He also humiliated and demeaned the victim,” said the judge.

Justice Hoo also allowed the prosecution’s appeal to reverse the acquittal of Tay’s wife, former senior sales manager Chia Yun Ling, 34, on a charge of failing to pay Moe’s salary amounting to S$1,450 (RM4,370).

Chia was sentenced to three months’ jail on this charge, which was ordered to run concurrently with her current jail term of 47 months for abusing the Myanmar national.

Justice Hoo said Chia’s account that she had paid the maid the outstanding salary a day before the victim’s repatriation was “unbelievable”.

Besides inflicting physical abuse on Moe, Chia had force-fed the maid a mixture of rice and sugar through a funnel. When the maid threw up as a result, Chia scolded her and told her to eat her own vomit.

She had also forced the maid to do her chores without a blouse on and threatened

to kill her family if she told anyone about the ill treatment.

Chia has been ordered to pay compensation totalling S$9,850 (RM29,710) to the two maids, while Tay has been ordered to pay S$8,900 (RM26,850).

Tay told the court yesterday that they would be defaulting on payment and would choose to serve jail terms in lieu of compensating the two maids.

Deputy public prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan highlighted in court that it remained an option for the prosecution to seize the couple’s assets if payment was not made.The couple were first convicted and sentenced in 2017 for abusing their Indonesian maid Fitriyah, 34.

In March 2018, following an appeal by the prosecution, Tay’s jail term for this set of charges was increased from 28 months to 43 months by a three-judge High Court panel. Chia’s jail term remained at two months. — The Straits Times/ANN

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