Employers from hell convicted after violently assaulting helper leading to permanently disfigurement

The helper, Khanifah's teeth were knocked out after her employer made her bare her teeth before striking her mouth with a hammer.

An Indonesian domestic helper went through such violent physical abuse by her employers over a period of six months that she was left permanently disfigured.

The 37-year-old helper, Khanifah, was horrifically assaulted by her employer Zariah Mohd Ali, who would use various items like a hammer, bamboo pole, scissors and a pestle to abuse Khanifah, knocking her teeth out and leading her to suffer permanent disfigurement of her ears, scalp, and shoulders, and scarring all over her body.

Khanifah suffered such grievous injuries – and was not allowed to treat her injuries – over a period of six months in 2012.

The 56-year-old Zariah was finally convicted of 12 charges of voluntarily causing hurt and grievous hurt to Khanifah, in court last Friday. Zariah’s husband, Mohamad Dahlan, was also found guilty of one charge of causing hurt to Khanifah by hitting her head with the cover of a frying pan.

Abusive employers, Dahlan and Zariah, were convicted in court on Friday

The court heard that the couple had a predominantly good relationship with Khanifah for the first six months of her employment at Woodlands home, starting from November 2011. Zariah, who suffered from a stroke which led to paralysis of her left hand, would only scold the helper if she made mistakes in her work.

Things took a violent turn in the next six months, between June 2012 and December 2012, when Zariah began scolding the maid more frequently and took to physically abusing her. The court heard the following accounts of abuse Khanifah suffered at the hands of Zariah:

  • Zariah hit Khanifah with a hammer on five occasions. The first time, Zariah hit the helper on the back of her head with the blunt side of the hammer, while she was cleaning the toilet. Khanifah yelled in pain as her head began to bleed. The bleeding did not stop even when Khanifah tried to clean the wound with water and dress it, and Zariah tossed Khanifah a sanitary pad to stop the bleeding. Her wound continued to bleed for months.
  • Zariah continued hitting Khanifah’s head with a hammer, leading her head wound to reopen and bleed. Zariah would only pass her helper sanitary napkins to clean her wound, and the repeated hits caused Khanifah to suffer permanent scarring on her scalp. Her hair, in the scarred area, had not grown back by July 2013.
  • The hammer was not just reserved for hitting Khanifah’s head. Zariah used tell Khanifah to bare her teeth in a grin before striking her mouth with the tool, in at least two separate incidents, causing Khanifah’s teeth to fall out, bleeding in her gums to bleed and the swelling of her lips. The assault led to permanent deformation of her mouth.
  • Zariah also took to swinging a bamboo pole at Khanifah more than twice. The first time, Khanifah’s ear began to swell and bleed after the pole clipped her left ear. Her left ear was again struck in the second bamboo pole attack, resulting in permanent deformation of her left ear.
  • Zariah attacked Khanifah with a stone pestle on more than five occasions, striking her forehead with the tool and causing bruising and swelling.
  • Zariah also stabbed Khanifah’s shoulder with a pair of scissors, leaving holes in her t-shirts and causing her shoulders to bleed and scar. This happened more than five different times. When Zariah’s husband questioned Khanifah about the holes on her t-shirt once, Khanifah told him that his wife was the cause of it. The husband showed no reaction, while the wife later gave the helper new shirts to wear.

Dahlan and Zariah have a daughter, Atiqah, and a son who is currently serving his National Service.


  1. It is heart rending to hear a story like that, regardless of what ever tying circumstances the elderly couple is experiencing , it is unacceptable to treat another fellow human being the cruel manner that they did …….it is indeed a very sad for the maid to be subjected to such cruel treatment. Hope the relevant authorities help the maid in what ever appropriate way to get her going again in life , God bless her .

  2. Both the wife and husband deserve the maximum punishment under the law for what they dad done to the innocent maid. The wife’s cruelty is beyond redemption. Hope the maid is compensated for all the sufferings. My thought…Cheer!!!

  3. Besides heavy Fine, jail term & barred from ever employing another maid, this wicked couple must pay for the maid’s plastic surgery, unfair to leave her looks deformed!
    Can you feel the maid’s trauma and hear her silent cries all by herself, lost and helplessly suffering the tortures throughout the year without any one to save her from her evil employers ?

  4. Theres alot more domestic helpers in Spore being illtreated.not given proper meals, pay, abuse and overload wrk. Will the authority kindly do something b4 things getting worse.

  5. My goodness, how cruel can people be or have become once they have a few more $. It seems this poor maid is still a child. Jail the bastards and hope the Sing gov compensates this poor thing and also make them pay for all the maid’s medical expenses and suffering.

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