SINGAPORE, Aug 18 — A 33-year-old woman who repeatedly abused her domestic worker, did not give her any days off and withheld her salary, was jailed for 15 months and two weeks yesterday.
Rosdiana Abdul Rahim was also ordered to pay S$2,500 (RM7,785.19) in compensation to Mayang Sari, an Indonesian who is now aged about 22.
Rosdiana’s lawyer SS Dhillon told the court that she intends to appeal against her conviction and sentence. She remains out on bail in the meantime.
The Singaporean was found guilty in April of six charges of abusing the worker. They included kicking Mayang in the crotch and forcing the worker to shower in front of her because she was “smelly”.
Rosdiana was further convicted of pouring talcum powder onto Mayang’s face, causing some powder to enter her eyes and inflict pain. She also pinched the woman’s breast and closed a cupboard door on her forearm, just below the wrist.
She once threatened to harm Mayang’s family in Lampung, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
The employer was acquitted of a seventh charge of pulling the victim’s shirt and bra, after District Judge Salina Ishak found that the prosecution had not established its case for the offence beyond a reasonable doubt.
Rosdiana abused Mayang between September and December in 2017 in a condominium unit, where she lived with her husband and two twin children who were five years old then.
It was Mayang’s first time working in Singapore and she had testified that she wanted to “change her life”.
She ended up working for Rosdiana for a total of two months and 15 days with no remuneration, although the agreed salary was S$600 a month.
During her employment, she was told to sleep next to a toilet without a blanket or pillow. She chose instead to sleep underneath a cupboard in the living room.
She had brought a batik cloth from Indonesia, which she intended to use as her blanket, but she said that Rosdiana had thrown it away saying it was “smelly”.
She then testified that her employer forced her to shower in front of her in November 2017 because Rosdiana “did not believe” that she bathed herself daily.
She recounted that Rosdiana pushed her into the bathroom in the master bedroom, sprayed water all over her with her clothes still on and put “a lot of shampoo” over her head, before telling her to remove all of her wet clothing.
As she was trying to rinse off the shampoo, Rosdiana’s husband happened to walk into the bedroom looking for something so she tried to cover herself, she said.
But Rosdiana told her: “No, my husband will not be interested.”
Husband testified she was ‘naggy’
When the family returned home from staying in a hotel for Rosdiana’s work event in December 2017, Rosdiana complained that Mayang’s underwear and clothes reeked of a smell.
She then kicked Mayang in the crotch twice after ripping her T-shirt from the collar to the hem.
Mayang tried to cover herself from Rosdiana’s husband, who was nearby at that time. Rosdiana then pinched Mayang’s breasts, remarking that her breasts were so small that her husband would not be interested.
The abuse continued as she was about to get a change of clothes from a cupboard, Mayang further testified. Rosdiana banged on the cupboard door, knowing that her hand was still in the cupboard compartment.
The couple abruptly took her back to the employment agency a day later, where she was first scolded by an agent there before she could explain that she had been abused.
The agency then referred her to the police station to file a report.
Rosdiana’s husband — who was a police officer for more than a decade — testified that his wife was “naggy” and had a “bulldog face” but was not violent.
He previously told the court: “I know her (my wife). Sometimes, she sits too long I also need to carry her up because she has problems with her knees. I don’t think she can do this kick to the vaginal (area).”
Her lawyer, Dhillon, said in mitigation that she had to employ domestic workers because both her children, who are twins and now aged nine, were born prematurely.
In sentencing Rosdiana, District Judge Salina said she agreed with the prosecution that the protection of vulnerable domestic workers “is a matter of public interest”.
For the most serious charges of voluntarily causing hurt to Mayang, Rosdiana could have been jailed for up to three years or fined up to S$7,500, or both. — TODAY