May 8, 2021


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“Totally inhuman”: Singaporean admits to abusing and killing a maid | Singapore News

2 min read

Having suffered tortured abuse, Piang Ngaih Don lost nearly 40% of his weight and weighed only 24 kg at the time of his death.

A Singaporean woman has admitted starving, assaulting and ultimately killing her Myanmar maid in what prosecutors have called one of the worst cases of maid abuse in the city-state.

The affluent financial center is home to around 250,000 domestic workers, mostly from poorer Asian countries, and cases of abuse are common.

But the abuse inflicted on Piang Ngaih Don was particularly horrific, with the aid being trampled, strangled, suffocated, beaten with brooms and burned with an iron.

Gaiyathiri Murugayan, 40, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to 28 counts, including culpable homicide against the 24-year-old maid.

She will be sentenced at a later date and could be imprisoned for life.

“That one human being to treat another in this perverse and utterly inhuman manner is the cause of the court’s righteous anger, and the law must be passed forcefully,” prosecutors said.

The maid was employed by Gaiyathiri and her husband, a police officer, in 2015 to help care for their four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

But she physically assaulted the victim almost daily, often several times a day, sometimes with her 61-year-old mother, according to court documents viewed by the AFP news agency.

The domestic worker died in July 2016 after Gaiyathiri repeatedly assaulted her for several hours.

Piang Ngaih Don, who had worked for the family for over a year at the time of her death, received very little food and was forced to shower and relieve herself with the door open.

Only allowed to sleep five hours a night, she lost about 38% of her body weight during her job and weighed only 24 kilograms (52 pounds) at the time of her death.

The prosecution asked for a reduction in the charge of culpable homicide rather than murder – which carries the death penalty in Singapore – after taking into account that Gaiyathiri suffered from illnesses, including depression.

Her husband also faces several charges in the case, police confirmed.

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