Singapore

Woman jailed after maid she employed illegally at bakery lost five fingers in workplace accident


SINGAPORE – The woman asked a domestic helper – hired by her husband to do household chores – to help out at her bakery.

The maid allegedly suffered a finger injury while using an electric mincer but that did not stop bakery owner Mastura Abdul Khalil – two years later – to get another maid, Ms Rabiah Baharuddin Abdul, to work in the bakery.

While using the same mincer, Ms Rabiah suffered a more serious injury. All the fingers on the Indonesian’s right hand had to be amputated.

On Friday (May 20), Mastura, a 46-year-old Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident, was sentenced to four weeks’ jail and fined $10,400 in court.

Her husband Affendi B. Husain, 61, who employed Ms Rabiah, was fined $8,700.

The couple each pleaded guilty to a charge under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act over the illegal employment of Ms Rabiah.

Affendi also pleaded guilty to a charge under the Environmental Public Health (Food Hygiene) Regulations while Mastura pleaded guilty to two charges under the same regulations and another charge for failing to take reasonable measures to ensure the safety of Ms Rabiah at work.

Charges related to the domestic worker who got less severely injured in the accident which occurred on or before October 2017 were taken into consideration during sentencing. The incident was uncovered during investigations into Ms Rabiah’s accident.

Singapore Food Agency prosecuting officer Ng Zhao Ji said in court documents that Mastura was the sole proprietor of Mastura Bakery in 92 Joo Chiat Road.

The business which sold snacks like curry puffs, banana fritters and fried green bean pastry opened in the middle of 2016, and the couple were both actively involved in running it.

Ministry of Manpower (MOM) prosecuting officers Mohd Rizal and Khong Zi Wei said in court documents that Ms Rabiah started working for Affendi on Oct 27, 2018.

Mastura told her in November that year to help with food preparation in the bakery.

From November 2018 till the date of the accident, in addition to her duties like cleaning, cooking and doing laundry, Ms Rabiah was required to go to the bakery about three to four times a week.

She performed tasks like cutting onions, grinding sardines using an electric mincer and frying fillings for curry puffs from about 11am to 7pm, while not getting any additional money.



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