03/20/2019, 13.32
SINGAPORE-MYANMAR
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Singapore, 'worst kind' abuse on Burmese maid: married couple in prison

20 charges against them. Husband and wife had already received a conviction for violence against an Indonesian maid. The Burmese employee received little food and could make limited use of the toilet. Singapore is home to around 250,000 women in domestic service, mostly from Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar.

Singapore (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Singapore authorities have arrested and imprisoned a couple for abuse of a domestic worker from Myanmar, in a case that investigators call "probably one of the worst of its kind". Husband and wife fed the woman by force with a funnel, they made her eat her own vomit and threatened to kill her family if she reported the mistreatment.

Arrested two days ago, in March 2017 the spouses had already received a conviction for violence against an Indonesian maid, but both have yet to serve their sentences. The judges had imposed on the husband 28 months in prison and his wife 60 days.

Court documents show that the Burmese maid, Moe Moe Than (32), received little food and could make limited use of the toilet. District Judge Olivia Low sentenced her employer, Chia Yun Ling (41), to 47 months in prison and ordered her to pay a fine. Her husband, Tay Wee Kiat, a 39-year-old former IT executive, will remain in prison for 24 months. The couple will also have to pay compensation to the worker. The ill-treatment towards Than during the period of her employment (almost a year in 2012) is detailed in the more than 20 counts exposed during the 14 days of trial.

Singapore is home to around 250,000 women in domestic service, mostly from poor regions of Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar. They emigrate there to earn higher salaries than they can at home. Regulated by strict legislation, in the city-state the working conditions for women in domestic service are generally considered better than in other countries, such as Malaysia or some Middle Eastern nations.

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