Lum Wai Lui, 74, pleaded guilty to two charges on 13 May 2015 of abusing a domestic worker in the family home. She had slapped and poured bleach on Filipina Jonna Memeje Muegue, 25, as ‘punishment’. The domestic worker had been accused of eating a salmon meal that was not meant for her.
The Straits Times reported (14 May 2015) that the domestic worker weighed only 48 kg when she climbed out a sixth-floor window of the Maplewoods condominium apartment in 30 October 2012,, having lost 10 kg over ten months. The domestic worker had not been given enough food. She was always feeling hungry.
The incident occurred on 29 October, the night before she escaped.
Her official employer, Lum’s daughter, Chua Siew Peng, 43, is also facing charges of slapping and confining the helper. She has claimed trial. Another daughter of Lum’s, Kathleen Chua Siew Wei, 41, has been charged too with slapping the maid. Her trial is ongoing.
The newspaper reported that District Judge Lee Poh Choo
found Lum to be not credible at all. “The accused painted herself as an extremely kind and generous person, especially towards Jonna.
“She claimed she loved Jonna like her own daughter. Yet, at the same time, she described Jonna as ‘evil’ and made disparaging remarks about her and unfounded allegations about what Jonna did to entice her son-in-law.”
Mitigation pleas will be heard in June before sentencing.
The news story does not tell us that the domestic worker fell as she tried to escape and hurt herself very badly. Fortunately, a fellow NGO took her under their wing. Click here for the story on HOME’s website.