Teacher allegedly abused domestic helper just 11 days after she started working

SINGAPORE – A primary school teacher allegedly hurt her domestic helper with a hot ladle just 11 days after the Myanmar national started working for the household on June 14, 2018, a district court heard on Monday (May 3).

Nachammai Selva Nachiappan, 39, and her 41-year-old husband Arunachalam Muthiah are facing multiple maid abuse charges involving Ms Hla Hla Miang, 37.

The Singaporean couple are accused of committing the offences between June 25 and Aug 2, 2018.

Nachammai, who is claiming trial to five charges, is accused of acts including hitting Ms Hla Hla Miang’s face with a hanger and throwing a hot ladle at her.

Arunachalam, who faces three charges, is accused of kicking the maid and punching her.

On the first day of their joint trial, the maid testified that she had to work from 4.30am to 11.30pm every day for the family who lived in a condominium unit in Jalan Mata Ayer near Sembawang Road.

It was her first job in Singapore.

She said her employers took her back to the maid agency, as they were “not satisfied”, adding: “I also didn’t want to work for them.”

Ms Hla Hla Miang now works for another household here.

The Ministry of Education (MOE) had earlier told The Straits Times that it would review the case against Nachammai and take the appropriate actions according to its internal disciplinary processes.

“MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service,” said a spokesman.

The trial continues.

For using an instrument to assault a maid, an offender can be jailed for up to 10½ years and fined or caned.

Nachammai will not be caned, as she is a woman.

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