Mon, Oct 08, 2007
The Straits Times
AN INDONESIAN maid was made to keep a log of the mistakes she made on the job so her salary could be docked for each error, a court was told on Monday.
The prosecution said the maid’s employer, Foo Chee Ring, would deduct $1 for each mistake and $5 for repeat mistakes.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Shawn Ho, describing the 35-year-old risk manager in a bank as a “harsh, pitiless and callous employer”, said in his written submissions that she forced Ms Lilik Sulisty Markidy to record every single mistake in the book.
At the end of two months, if the maid did not repeat any mistake, the money was refunded; if she did, then the appropriate sum would be deducted. Foo initially denied such a book existed. She admitted only after the maid’s agent Syed Faisal Syed Hussin produced a photocopy of the “punishment book” in court and a handwriting analyst?s evidence that it was “highly probable” that some of the handwriting in it was Foo’s.
Besides making the maid pay for half her medical bills on a few occasions, Foo also withheld her salary and only paid this to the agent after a police report was made, the deputy public prosecutor told the court.
Foo was on Monday convicted of three maid-abuse charges after a trial that ran for about 15 days.
The first charge was for slapping Ms Lilik three times across her cheeks and kicking her legs in the kitchen of her Bukit Batok flat at Bukit Batok West Avenue 6 on April 10, 2005, for having failed to hear Foo summon her to clean up her son?s vomit.
The second charge was for grabbing Ms Lilik’s hair and banging her head against the wall three times later that month, after her son broke a “cordon” that the maid was supposed to have set up with mattresses, and ran all over the flat.
The third charge was for slapping Ms Lilik three to four times in the living room the following month, after the maid had forgotten to unpack a food container from her son’s bag. Foo’s defence was one of bare denial.
Her lawyer, Mr Peter Fernando, has filed a notice of appeal against the conviction.
Foo, out on $10,000 bail, will be back in court on Nov 1, when Mr Fernando will present her mitigation plea.
She can be jailed up to 11/2 months or fined up to $1,500 or both on each charge of voluntarily causing hurt.