Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Embassy wants to meet with maid jailed in Singapore

Myanmar Embassy officials have sought a meeting with a female citizen who was handed out a five-month sentence by a Singapore court on Monday after she was found guilty of attempted murder by mixing disinfectant into the food of her employer’s mother-in-law.

“We requested at the prison to meet with her. If we find any unfairness in the case, we will file an appeal on behalf of her by hiring legal experts” the embassy official said The Myanmar Times on August Wednesday.

The embassy official also said they will try to get the reduction in the prison term for Myanmar maid if she had committed the crime upon the employer’s mother in law.

According to embassy official, they have not known about the court hearing of her case because Singapore police had not informed the Myanmar embassy to come to the court hearing.

He noted that in the past police used to invite the embassy official in the cases that involve the Myanmar citizens.

“We haven’t reached out to her during the whole process. Singapore police have not told us before she admitted to the crime. But, we will ask her again,” the embassy official said.

The official said the maid did not also seek their assistance during the whole court case.

According to the Singapore Straits Times newspaper, the 24-year-old Myanmar domestic worker – identified as Ma Mya Thet Wai -- mixed the Dettol disinfectant into the cup of cereal of the 65-year-old woman, who is the mother in law of her employer in April 2017 when she was working for that household.

The Myanmar maid allegedly admitted to the police that she committed the case because she had been nagged by her employer’s mother-in-law every day and she wanted to return back to Myanmar, the newspaper report added.

Officials from Myanmar Overseas Employment Agencies Federation (MOEAF) said there are about 40,000 Myanmar domestic workers in Singapore, despite a prohibition to send maids to the island-state.

Many Myanmar children who are under 18 have been sent to Singapore to work as the domestic maid, according to MOEAF and the member of Singapore based Humanitarian Organization for Migrations Economics (HOME).

Ma Khin Lay, a member of HOME, told The Myanmar Times in June that Myanmar domestic workers are paid S$500 to S$640 monthly and every maid has to give about seven months of their wages to the brokers or job employment agencies as service fees.

In June, a Myanmar domestic maid who was under 20 years old committed suicide by jumping off the 18th floor of Interlace Condo located at 180 Depot Road in Singapore.