Because her employer thinks that she is unhygienic, slow, and eating too much, a foreign domestic helper lost her life tragically and only weighed 24kg at the time of her passing.
Employer Gaiyathiri Murugayan in Singapore decided to install CCTV cameras to monitor her domestic helper and her children as well.
For the past nine months, Myanmar national Piang Ngaih Don, 24 years old, lost 15 kg and only weighed 24kg when she passed away. She was deprived of food and water. She was only given one slice of bread soaked in water, some rice at night, or cold food coming straight from the refrigerator.
Piang started working for her employer last May 2015. She initially agreed to her employer’s condition, that she won’t be allowed to use a mobile phone or won’t be granted a day off in exchange for higher pay. Piang agreed to sustain the needs of her young son in Myanmar.
But since early in her employment, her employer was unhappy with Piang and decided to implement strict rules. Aside from that, Piang was abused verbally which was soon escalated to physical abuse.
Then the abuse came every day, many times every day. She punches and slaps Piang. Poured cold water and strikes her with a bamboo pole. Piang also didn’t have the privacy that even when she is taking a bath, her employers watch her.
And because Gaiyathiri finds her unhygienic and doesn’t want to see her face, she was forced to wear layers of face masks. She was also forced to sleep on the bedroom floor and on one occasion, her hands were tied in the window grille.
The final assault that took the life of the poor worker was on July 25. In the CCTV footage, the employer was captured assaulting the domestic worker because she was too slow’ in washing the clothes.
Her employer punched Piang on the neck, hit her head using a detergent bottle, and pulled her hair. Prema, the mother of the female employer, even joined the assault. She poured water into the worker and choked her. The assault continued until Piang was seen motionless.
Gaiyathiri and Prema noticed it and begun reviving Piang without success. They called an ambulance and the domestic worker was taken to the hospital.
Later that day, Piang was pronounced dead.
The prosecution described the incident as heinous and horrific.
“This is a case where simply put, words fail us. That one human being would treat another in this evil and utterly inhumane manner is cause for the righteous anger of the court,” says the Deputy Chief Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal Mohamed Abdul Kadir.
28 charges were filed against the employer and another 87 similar charges will be applied for sentencing later on.
According to the autopsy report, Piang acquired 31 recent scars as well as 47 external injuries all over her body. The U-shape bone supporting her tongue was fractured allegedly caused by Gaiyathiri holding her on the neck and shaking her.
The prosecution is asking for a maximum sentence of life imprisonment for the crimes that Gaiyathiri has done against Piang.\