A couple from Singapore is currently facing a legal trial for allegedly starving a Filipina domestic helper who works with them. According to the reports, the maid now merely weighs 29kg and she later managed to escape from the Orchard Road condominium last April 2014.
The employers Lim Choon Hong and Chong Sui Foon, both 47 years of age, have been reported to the authorities for violating the Employment of Foreign Man Power Act which require employers to be held responsible for providing the basic necessities of their employees.
Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, has been working for them for around a year and a half. She, however, has claimed that they have abused him and so she eventually reported them to HOME, a non-profit organization that helps migrant workers. Thelma lost 20kg compared to her original weight when she first worked for the couple.
This, according to Thelma, was the result of being fed only instant noodles twice a day for more than a year. In rare instances, they also gave her bread. Furthermore, she was only allowed to shower once or twice every week on the condominium’s public toilet. She was also forbidden to use hot water.
HOME later passed the case to the Ministry of Manpower. Thelma was asked to undergo a medical check-up.
Last December 14, 2015, Dr Lim Huiyu of Tan Tock Seng Hospital appeared before the court and testified that their patient Thelma has suffered “significant weight loss due to insufficient intake of food.”
Thelma also took her turn in the stand and said the husband and wife required her to work long hours, sometimes more than 24 hours, and was asked to sleep in the storeroom.
“I became skinny. I didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror,” Thelma said while crying.
Lim and Chong will possibly be imprisoned for a year and/or fined up to S$10,000 if they are proven guilty of the charges.