Woman convicted in Singapore of forcing maid to hurt self with hot water

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A Singaporean woman was found guilty on Friday of abusing her Myanmar maid, including forcing her to pour hot water onto herself and to drink water laced with floor cleaner.

The abuse of the maid, Phyu Phyu Mar, happened from August to October 2016 at the house of the Singaporean married couple who employed her, according to court documents.

The abuses detailed in six charges against the wife – Linda Seah – include two instances when the maid was forced to pour hot water onto her left shoulder “to voluntarily cause hurt to herself”.

According to the Straits Times, Seah, 39, was unhappy with the maid as she felt she was slow in completing her chores.

The maid suffered scald marks and blisters on her skin but instead of sending her to a doctor, Seah gave her a needle to poke the blisters herself, the newspaper said.

Another charge said Seah told the maid to hurt herself “by knocking her head on the floor”. Seah also forced the maid to drink “water adulterated with floor cleaner”, according to another charge.

In late September 2016, Seah abused the maid by grabbing her by the hair and “shaking her until quite a lot of her hair fell out”, according to another charge.

A month later, Seah repeatedly hit the maid on the forehead with a mobile phone.

The woman’s husband Lim Toon Leng, 44, faced one charge of punching the maid on the forehead.

Court officials confirmed that the “accused persons were convicted of the charges” on Friday. Sentencing was set for February 11.

Singapore is home to almost 250 000 maids – mostly from Indonesia, the Philippines and Myanmar – who head to the tiny but wealthy city-state to earn far higher salaries.