08 November 2004

Mother, daughter jailed for hitting maid

Today Online, 4 Nov 2008

Ansley Ng

SHE joined the family in March last year as a domestic helper, but barely three months into the job, she was abused by her employers who slapped, kicked and clipped her ears with clothes pegs.

Yesterday, the culprits — 33-year-old Mazlinda Mohamed and her 57-year-old mother Zahara Zainal Abidin — were jailed six and four weeks respectively by District Judge F G Remedios for mistreating their maid.

The court was told that the maid, Indonesian Tita Julita, 27, was employed byMazlinda’s husband in their Pasir Ris home. Six other people lived in the householdand the maid was tasked with general chores.

The abuse first started on June 13 when Mazlinda, who was pregnant at the time, slapped Ms Julita for not cleaning a bathroom sink thoroughly.

The next morning, while Ms Julita was cleaning the sink again, Mazlinda kicked her twice in the back after scolding her for not washing the toilet properly.

According to court documents, there were no visible injuries from the kicks.

Mazlinda was charged with two counts of voluntarily causing hurt.

Her mother, Zahara, was similarly charged. She scolded the maid in July last year for not clipping the curtains in the living room to the window grill.

Later, Zahara took some clothes pegs from her storeroom and after slapping the maid’s cheeks, she clipped Ms Julita’s ears with the pegs and pulled her hair.

Zahara also used a sandal to hit the maid.

Ms Julita left the apartment later, taking refuge at the Indonesian Embassy. A police report was filed the next day.

Speaking to the media after her clients were sentenced, defence lawyer Soraya Ibrahim said the acts were “spur of the moment” actions and that there was no “pattern of abuse”.

Ansley Ng