Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Sing court shows Malaysians how cruel abuses to employee should be handled


Singaporean woman jailed 30 years for torturing, killing maid

Judge describes horrific crime as ‘among the worst types of culpable homicide’

Gaiyathiri Murugayan (left), who abused and killed her Myanmar national domestic worker Piang Ngaih Don, has been given a lighter sentence of 30 years instead of life imprisonment under a culpable homicide charge due to her mental illnesses. – File pic, June 22, 2021

SINGAPORE – A Singaporean woman who starved, assaulted and ultimately killed her domestic worker was sentenced to 30 years in prison today, with the judge describing the case as “among the worst types of culpable homicide”.

The affluent city-state is home to about 250,000 domestic workers who mostly come from poorer Asian countries, and stories of mistreatment are common.

But the abuse inflicted on Myanmar national Piang Ngaih Don, 24, was particularly awful and captured on CCTV installed in the family’s home. The domestic worker was stamped on, strangled, choked, battered with brooms and burnt with an iron, according to court documents.

The domestic worker died in July 2016, after her employer, Gaiyathiri Murugayan, repeatedly assaulted her over several hours.

Gaiyathiri, 41, pleaded guilty in February to 28 charges including culpable homicide. Another 87 charges were taken into account in sentencing.

She appeared in court today wearing glasses and a black mask, and sat silently with her eyes closed and head bowed as the judge read his decision.

After hearing an additional plea of mitigation submitted by Gaiyathiri in a bid to avoid the life sentence sought by the prosecution, justice See Kee Oon sentenced her to 30 years in prison starting from the date of her arrest in 2016.

See cited the “abject cruelty of the accused’s appalling conduct” in his sentencing, which he added must signal “societal outrage and abhorrence” at the crime.

But taking into account the defendant’s obsessive compulsive disorder and the depression she developed around the time she gave birth, See said he did not think that life imprisonment was “fair and appropriate”.

The prosecution had sought a reduced charge of culpable homicide rather than murder – punishable with the death penalty in Singapore – after taking into account her mental health.

The maid was employed by Gaiyathiri and her husband, a police officer, in 2015 to help take care of their four-year-old daughter and one-year-old son.

But Gaiyathiri physically assaulted the victim almost daily, often several times a day, with her 61-year-old mother sometimes joining in, according to court documents.

The domestic worker, who had been employed by the family for over a year at the time of her death, was only allowed to sleep for five hours a night, and was forced to shower and relieve herself with the door open.

Provided very little food, she lost about 38 percent of her body weight during her employment, and only weighed 24 kilogrammes (53 pounds) at the time of her death.

Gaiyathiri’s lawyer Joseph Chen had asked for a sentence of eight to nine years, arguing that a “combination of stresses” had turned the struggling mother into an abuser.

He argued that a harsh sentence would deter mothers in a similar situation from asking for help -- an argument that the prosecution called “disingenuous”. – AFP, June 22, 2021


  1. Jail Not Enough.

    What about the victim's family in Myanmar. They were depending on her to support them financially. The Sing court should have also fined this lady heavily and ordered the money to be paid to the victim's family for loss of financial support.

  2. Compare this Singapore case to the Ambika case, we should be ashamed.

    Here is a quote from the court

    "Ambika was acquitted after her lawyer cited Section 254 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code and urged the court to take into account her age and deteriorating health.
    "The accused Ambika is over 60 years old and has several health issues and the court has given priority to that matter," said Penang High Court judge Akhtar Tahir.

    I believe that the AG has appealed the Appellate Court decision to uphold the acquital of Ambika. (I stand to be corrected)

    Was there any conclusion? Did the AG actually send in the appeal?

    1. Sing case at least had a mitigating circumstance where the criminal was almost insanely distressed. Ambika? None whatsoever other than her immense cruelty and wickedness

  3. the maid died right? how 30 years is a show to msia? dun understand.

    1. Same sane with the high fatality rate after AZ vaccine inoculation in that f*cked Formosa!

      How do u understand - deserve to die mah!