Chua Hwee Hwa: maid abuser's wife also abused maid

Poor Chua Hwee Hwa. As if the news is not shocking enough that her husband, Lawrence Lim Hwang Ngin's jail term was doubled for abusing his maid, she is too reported to be charged with abusing maid.

Wait. Did I say 'poor'?

On second thought, I shouldn't. I should have been wondering what this Chua Hwee Hwa was doing when the beast of her husband, a former police officer Lawrence Lim Hwang Ngin committed the heinous act. She just kept quiet? Pretended nothing happened? Or even worse, also participated in the abuse?

Chua Hwee Hwa, indeed, may have been such a partner in crime.

A good opportunity to demonstrate equality of sexes here in Singapore. Give her a punishment as harsh as that of her husband!

THE wife of a Criminal Investigation Department officer was charged in court on Thursday for allegedly abusing her maid on five occasions.

Assistant manager Chua Hwee Hwa, 37, is said to have caused hurt to her Indonesian maid at their Woodlands flat between January and May 2006.

Her husband, Lawrence Lim Hwang Ngin, 37, is now serving a two-year jail sentence for maid abuse. Lim, a staff sergeant with the CID's Intellectual Property Rights Branch, was found guilty of five charges of maid abuse in July 2008 and cleared of eight other charges including rape.

His initial one-year sentence imposed in November 2008 was doubled by the Court of Appeal last month after the prosecution appealed. He, too, appealed but lost.

Chua, who is represented by Mr Lee Teck Leng, faces a jail term of up to 18 months and/or a fine of up to $1,500 on each charge upon conviction.

A pre-trial conference is set for Feb 8.

From Straits Time, "Woman on maid abuse charges".

Her husband, a former police officer, recently had his sentenced doubled to 24 months last month for abusing their then 23-year-old Indonesian maid.

Now it is her turn to face the music.

On Thursday, Chua Hwee Hwa, 37, was charged in a district court with allegedly abusing the same maid at their Woodlands flat between January and May 2006.

Chua, who was represented by former district judge Lee Teck Leng, remained silent during the proceedings and did not enter a plea.

Her husband, 37-year-old Lawrence Lim Hwang Ngin, was found guilty of kicking the maid, hitting her on the head and rapping her forehead with his knuckles on five occasions between January and May 2006.

Normally, maid abuse cases are heard at the Subordinate Court but Lim's case was taken to the High Court because he also faced allegations of sexual assault on the maid who had been working for his family since 2004. However, he was later acquitted of rape because of inconsistencies in the latter's testimony.

Lim was sentenced to a year's jail in November 2008 on the other five charges of physical abuse. But after an appeal by the prosecution, the Court of Appeal - the highest court in the Singapore justice system - upped the sentence to two years.

During the trial, the court heard of details of how Lim waged a 'psychological war' against the maid. Not only was she ordered her to record her chores in a notebook hung around her neck, she was also required to keep another notebook for recording her mistakes, prosecutors said.

In the 114-page written judgment released last month following Lim's new sentence, Justice V K Rajah said the Court of Appeal had opted to take a firmer stand on bosses who terrorised their domestic helpers.

He added: "Surely, it cannot be said that an abusive employer who persistently mistreats and humiliates a maid and then later physically injures her should be sentenced similarly with one who ordinarily treats a maid well, but then on a solitary occasion loses control of himself and then inflicts a similar injury?"

In the meantime, Chua's case will be heard at a pre-trial conference on February 8. She could be jailed up to 18 months and/or fined up to S$1,500 on each charge if found guilty.

From Channel NewsAsia, "37-year-old woman charged with abusing maid".


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