Singapore — An Indonesian woman named Khanifah left her home and two young children to work in Singapore as a domestic helper in order to earn a better living. What she experienced under the hands of her abusive employers would scar her for life.
In 2012, Khanifah worked as a domestic for a couple who lived a Woodlands flat. She shared her horrifying account of how the couple, Zariah Mohd Ali and Mohamad Dahlan, would beat her for the smallest reasons.
Zariah (58) used a hammer to beat the maid’s head and mouth for not properly cleaning the toilet. She also slashed Khanifa’s arm with a knife, struck her forehead with a stone pestle, and hit her ear several times with a bamboo pole for allegedly not cleaning “fast enough.”
Zariah’s husband, Dahlan (60) used the cover of a frying pan to hit their maid on the head.
Khanifah sustained a deformed ear, scars across her forehead and shoulders, and a permanently dislocated little finger from the beatings.
She was not given any medical treatment for her injuries, and was only handed a sanitary pad to stop the bleeding from her head. Khanifah only received S$20 for her monthly earnings and did not get any days off.
Khanifah was only allowed to call her home once in 2012, six months into her work with the couple. Zariah also taunted Khanifah that her oldest child had died and even threw away her diary that contained her family’s contact numbers.
Zariah ordered her maid to stay in the kitchen toilet whenever guests arrived at the flat. They dressed her in a headscarf and long-sleeved shirts as well as put make up on her to hide the bruises and scars.
The couple and their children even posed with Khanifah for a photo before she left in Dec 2012 to visit her family in Indonesia. Back home, Khanifah’s family noticed her injuries and reported the abuse to the authorities and the maid agency.
For their offences against Khanifah, Zariah received an 11 year jail sentence and was ordered to pay S$56,497 to compensate Khanifah. Dahlan got one year and three months of jail and needed to pay S$1,000 in compensation. The couple was convicted and charged on Thursday (Aug 1).
According to a report by Today, the couple was notorious for previously abusing their former domestic helper, Tutik Rahayu Purwadi, in 2001. They rubbed spicy chili paste on the maid’s eyes, hit her head with a mug, and beat her until her ears hurt just because did not cook the food properly.
They were prosecuted for their offences to Tutik as well. Zariah was sentenced to 10 weeks of jail and fined S$500 while Dahlan got 12 weeks of jail time./TISG
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