A Singaporean couple was convicted and fined on Monday, March 27th after they plead guilty to starving their Filipina maid.
On Monday, the court already issued an arrest warrant for Lim Choo Hong,47, and his wife Chong Sui Foon,47, after the verdict for their case was made. Lim had to serve jail for three weeks and was fined $10,000 (P359,000) while Chong was ordered to be jailed for three months. The prosecution filed an appeal extending their jail service up to one year. Their bail was set for $3,000 (P107,800) each.
Inquirer reported that on March 2016, the couple were brought to court to face legal charges claiming that they provided inadequate food and medical treatments for their Filipina housemaid. Thelma Oyasan Gawidan,40, weighed 49kg before she applied as the couple’s housemaid. However for 15 months of receiving two meals a day, her weight drastically dropped down to 29kg.
This has led the Singaporean court to rule that Lim violated the Employment of Foreign Manpower (Work Passes) Regulations 2012 “which requires employers to pay and provide adequate food and medical treatment for their domestic helper”. Chong was then ruled guilty of abetting her husband in committing the offense.
Investigations reported that Gawidan was given two meals per day which are mostly consisted of a few slices of white bread. She was also required to ask permission before drinking tap water.
Gawidan was also forbidden to use the couple’s toilet and was only allowed to shower herself once or twice a week. This practice affected Gawidan’s health so much that she stopped menstruating after months of starvation and poor hygiene. Her hair also started to fall out and she drastically began losing weight.
Meanwhile, Lim explained during their trial that his wife suffered from anorexia nervosa and from obsessive-compulsive disorder prior to the incident. They claim that this has affected her choices when it comes to their food and cleanliness.
What can you say about this story? Do you think this inhumane treatment deserves just one year of imprisonment? Let us know in the comment section below.