Singapore has had some heinous crimes involving hurting and even killing helpless domestic workers trying to earn a puny amount of money on this island.
Over 250,000 foreign domestic workers were recruited in Singapore since 2018, according to 2019 statistics. They have to be at least 23 years old to be employed by roughly one in five Singapore households to do all sorts of chores like cooking, cleaning, and even care-giving, and at times, dealing with violence.
Several Singaporean families have been reported to vent their anger at the workers, even driving them to death. Forcing food down throats, burning skin with a hot iron, and breaking fingers, were among the most evil things Singapore employers have been reported of doing.
And here the worst cases of maid abuse in Singapore’s history.
The most recent court case involves 24-year-old Piang Ngaih Don from Myanmar, who died from a brain injury in 2016 after she was inflicted by employers Gaiyathiri Murugayan, her cop husband Kevin Chelvam, and mother Prema Naraynasamy. Kevin was a staff sergeant when the abuse occurred, and was suspended from the police force the year the maid died. The horrifying abuse lasted several months.
They tied Piang to the window grille at night, stomped on her while she was on the floor, pulled her hair, attacked her with a broom and metal ladle, and even burned her forehead with a hot iron. She was also forced to use the bathroom and shower with the door open. Piang weighed a mere 24kg when she died, after being fed only bread soaked in water, cold food, and little rice.
The abuse began five months into Piang’s employment, which began in May 2015. Gaiyathiri apparently lost her patience when she found Piang to be slow and unhygienic. She died in July 2016 when Gaiyathiri and Prema punched and hit her head with a detergent bottle for doing laundry too slowly and kicked her after tying her to the window grille. She did not wake up the next morning.
Gaiyathiri pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 28 charges of culpable homicide, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by starvation, voluntarily causing hurt by a heated substance, and wrongful restraint. The case is pending charges for Kevin and Prema, with the prosecution seeking life imprisonment for Gaiyathiri.
Piang’s body was already brought back by her brother and buried in Myanmar, in the remote village of Dimpi.