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SINGAPOREAN COUPLE ON TRAIL FOR STARVING MAID TILL SHE WEIGHED JUST 29KG?


SINGAPORE -  A Singaporean couple is on trial for allegedly starving their Filipina domestic helper. She weighed just 29kg when she escaped from their Orchard Road condominium in April 2014.
Lim Choon Hong and wife Chong Sui Foon, both 47, face one charge each under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act, which states that employers are responsible for the "maintenance" of their foreign employee, including proving them with adequate food.
Ms Thelma Oyasan Gawidan, 40, had worked for the couple for almost 1.5 years before she escaped and sought refuge at HOME, a non-profit organization that assists migrant workers, including domestic helpers.
Ms Thelma lost 20kg whilst working for Lim and Chong. She told HOME of only being given instant noodles to eat twice a day for over a year. On some occasions, she was given bread.
  • Chong also only allowed her to shower once or twice a week, keeping tabs on Ms Thelma to make sure she did not use any hot water, despite forcing her to shower in the condominium's public toilet, Ms Christina Quek, the investigation officer in charge of the case, told the court.
  • HOME reported Ms Thelma's conditions to the Ministry of Manpower, who directed the NGO to send Ms Thelma for a medical check up.
In court on Monday (Dec 14), Dr Lim Huiyu, senior resident at Tan Tock Seng Hospital's department of gastroenterology and hepatology who examined Ms Thelma in April this year, testified that she suffered "significant weight loss due to insufficient intake of food".
This conclusion was arrived at after ruling out medical or organic causes. 
So malnourished was Ms Thelma that she did not have her period for a year, the doctor said.

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