Jail, fine for woman who ordered two domestic helpers to slap another maid in separate incidents

Jail, fine for woman who ordered two domestic helpers to slap another maid in separate incidents

SINGAPORE - Unhappy with the performance of her two domestic helpers, a woman ordered one of them to slap the other's face 10 times.

Filipina maid Annabel Timbol Reyes, 26, obeyed Kan Choi Yit out of fear and repeatedly slapped Indonesian Ratna Lestari, 25, on Aug 20, 2018.

On another occasion, Kan ordered her daughter-in-law's Filipina helper, Ms Planta Renalyn Manaday, 32 to slap Ms Ratna's twice after scolding the pair for being late in washing the family car.

The court heard that Ms Manaday and her employer stayed at Kan's house from Sundays to Friday afternoons.

Kan, now 63, was sentenced on Tuesday (July 28) to five weeks' jail and a fine of $1,500.

The Singaporean had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of instigating one maid to assault another.

She had also admitted to one count of instigating the three maids to pour water on one another, with the intention to cause annoyance to them.

The trio stopped working for Kan and her daughter-in-law in October 2018.

Kan, who is self-employed, hired Ms Ratna in October 2017 and Ms Reyes in August 2018.

They worked at Kan's house in Jalan Paras near Jalan Kembangan.

Kan's daughter-in-law hired Ms Manaday in October 2017.

On Aug 20, 2018, Kan checked her rice cooker and noticed that there was more rice than required for her grandchildren.

Court documents did not state how many grandchildren she has.

She questioned her two maids and Ms Ratna admitted that she had not taught Ms Reyes how to use a measuring cup to measure the amount of rice before cooking.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee had said: "The accused was angry with Annabel and Ratna as she felt that the excess rice would go to waste. She was also upset with Ratna as she failed to teach Annabel how to prepare rice.

"Hence, the accused, intending for hurt to be caused to Ratna, instructed Annabel to slap Ratna on her face 10 times."

Kan ordered Ms Manaday to slap Ms Ratna's face twice on another occasion that month. The Filipina complied out of fear.

The following month, Kan became angry with the three maids when she found out that the hot water in some flasks had not been refilled.

The DPP said: "The accused then instructed Planta, Annabel and Ratna to pour room temperature water on each other, from head to toe, with the intention that the use of such force would cause annoyance to the three of them."

The three women did as they were told.

They later alerted a Ministry of Manpower officer about Kan's offences and he informed the police on Oct 1, 2018.

For each count of maid abuse, Kan could have been jailed for up to three years and fined up to $7,500.

First Published on 28 July, 2020 By Shaffiq Alkhatib

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