Woman, 43, found guilty of breaching maid’s work-permit conditions

Woman, 43, found guilty of breaching maid’s work-permit conditions
Malaysian Goh Ting Chee had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of cheating and another similar charge was taken into consideration for sentencing. He cheated three hawkers of S$5,400 in total. Photo: Reuters
Published: 8:35 PM, September 14, 2017

SINGAPORE — A 43-year-old woman, whose acquittal over the slapping her sister’s maid was overturned by the High Court last year, has been convicted of a separate offence relating to the maid’s employment.

Kathleen Chua Siew Wei was found guilty by a district court on Thursday (Sept 14) of abetting her elder sister, Chua Siew Peng, 46, to get the latter’s domestic helper to work at her condominium.

Ms Jonna Memeje Muegue, the 28-year-old maid, was supposed to be working only at the elder Chua’s residence, a flat at Jalan Bukit Merah, as stated in her work permit.

However, Kathleen Chua had requested that the maid work at her own condominium as well, thus breaching the conditions of Ms Muegue’s work permit. She will return to court on Oct 6 for sentencing and mitigation.

The Chua sisters first made the news in 2015 when they went on trial for abusing Ms Muegue.

In May last year, Chua Siew Peng was found guilty of one charge of voluntarily causing hurt to the maid by slapping her, and another count of wrongful confinement.

In May this year, she had her jail sentence tripled to 24 weeks, from two months, by the High Court after the prosecution successfully appealed against her initial sentence.

At the time of the offences in 2012, she was living at Kathleen Chua’s sixth-floor Maplewoods apartment with their mother and her sister’s family.

On Oct 30 that year, Ms Muegue, who had been with the family for about 11 months, escaped from the sixth-floor apartment by climbing out of a window, but fractured her feet upon landing on a roof one floor below.

The maid said she fled because she could not tolerate the abuses by the Chua sisters and their mother, which included punching, slapping and pulling of hair.

Kathleen Chua herself was initially acquitted by the lower court of a single charge of voluntarily causing hurt on Ms Muegue by slapping her. However, her acquittal was overturned by the High Court in May last year. Her retrial on the maid-abuse case has not been heard yet.

For abetting her elder sister to contravene the conditions of Ms Muegue’s work permit, Kathleen Chua could face a jail term of up to six months, and/or be fined up to S$5,000.

For voluntarily causing hurt to Ms Muegue, she could be sentenced to a jail term of up to two years, and/or a fine of up to S$5,000.