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Singaporean salon manager jailed for abusing Myanmar maid

AFP  |  Singapore 

A Singaporean woman who abused her by forcing her to pour hot water on herself, pulling her out and hitting her was jailed for three years on Monday.

is home to almost 250,000 maids, mostly from other parts of Southeast Asia, who head to the tiny but wealthy city-state to earn far higher salaries.

Linda Seah, 39, was convicted last month for the abuse inflicted on Phyu Phyu Mar in 2016.

The mistreatment detailed in six charges included two instances when the was forced to pour hot water onto her left shoulder, leaving her with burn marks and blisters.

Seah also forced her to drink "water adulterated with floor cleaner", according to the charges.

On one occasion she shook the by the until some of it came out, and on another, hit her repeatedly in the head with a mobile phone.

The court heard that Seah was unhappy as she felt her employee was slow in completing her chores.

But handing down the jail sentence, said that Seah's "unhappiness with the victim's work should not justify any form of violence against" her.

She said the victim suffered "psychological harm" and had been left with a scar on her shoulder.

As well as the jail term, Seah was fined USD 6,630.

The said aggravating factors for the sentence included that the maid was denied food, leading her to become malnourished, and her salary was not paid.

The woman's husband Lim Toon Leng, 44, was jailed for six weeks on one charge of punching the maid on the forehead.

The abuses came to light after the maid accompanied Seah to the salon she managed, where one of the employees alerted the police.

Abuse of domestic workers is not as common in tightly-regulated as other parts of Asia, but some cases have made headlines.

In 2017, a Singapore couple were jailed for starving their Philippine maid until she weighed just 29 kilograms (64 pounds).

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, February 11 2019. 15:20 IST