Because maids do all literal dirty work for us, we often forget that they’re humans with feelings and emotions. Unfortunately, most employers simply don’t care about their well being.
But Ms. Moe Moe Than, a 27-year-old maid originally from Myanmar, could no longer endure her Singaporean employers’ cruelty to her and decided to press charges. Together with her is a fellow domestic helper from Indonesia named Ms. Fitriyah.
What finally pushed the two woman to come forward was when their employer, IT manager Tay Wee Kiat, unhappy with their work, forced them to go on all fours and then kicked them in the buttocks.
READ: Maid escapes employers by jumping into the garbage chute
“I fell on the floor,” she said in a Strait Times report. “I hit the glass panel. She (Fitriyah) also fell on the glass panel and on the floor. I was in pain.”
Ms. Than said that the couple were sometimes good to them, but they always found fault in their duties.
One time, their employer’s wife Chia Yun Ling got angry and hit Ms. Fitriyah when she found out some washed bedsheets had not been hung up to dry.
Tay Wee Kiat and his wife Chia Yun Ling; Photo credit: Strait Times
Ms. Than recalled another incident in which the husband struck them on the head with a bundle of three canes and asked tauntingly if it hurt.
He even made them slap each other ten times, and then finding that a cloth covered some statues on a table, forced them to “worship” in front of the altar 100 times.
READ: Establishing house rules for your maid
“Tay, who faces 23 charges, has claimed trial to 12 proceeded charges. Two relate to allegedly offering to pay Ms Fitriyah her full salary and send her home if she did not report him; and for allegedly asking her on Dec 12, 2012 to tell the police that he did not physically abuse Ms Than,” the report said.
In October of 2012, Ms. Than was sent back to her home country without any explanations given. She returned to Singapore for the sole purpose of filing charges against her employers.
If the court found the couple guilty, they could face up to three years of jail time and fined up to SG$7,500 per charge of causing hurt.
How to be nice your maid
It’s an important note to remember that maid offer a great deal of help running the household, and just because they are getting paid to do it, that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve every bit of respect and compassion as the rest of the members of the household.
Remember these things:
- Treat her with respect
- Trust her abilities
- Trust their integrity
- Keep you tone in check
- Be considerate
- Be compassionate
- Show her your appreciation
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