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Maid gets 18 months jail term reduced to 4. A fair sentence?

Maid Abuse

An Indonesian maid, Kusrini Caslan Arja, 37, who has pleaded guilty to ill-treating a bedridden boy was sentenced to 4 months' jail term instead of the prosecution's call earlier for the maid to be jailed for 18 months. According to District Judge Low Wee Ping, the prosecution's sentencing proposal was "manifestly excessive" as the maid had no ill intention of harming the child unlike other cases of child abuse which had wilful intent.

On 23rd of November 2016, while Kusrini was performing her duty to remove phlegm and mucus from the bedridden boy's mouth, she placed the suction cap into his mouth instead of putting it over his nose and lips as instructed. She thought it would be more effective as the boy was having more phlegm and mucus that day. Unfortunately, the cap fell into the boy's throat. In the attempt to retrieve it, the panicked maid caused the boy to bleed as she stuck her hand into the mouth to reach for the fallen cap. When her employers called to check if everything was ok, she did not inform them of the incident. Only when they returned home and discovered blood in the suction machine pump container did they realised what happened.

Although the maid received two days of training on how to operate the machine, she was did not have relevant experience nor sufficient skills and training required to nurse a child who is bedridden. In Singapore, there are many reputable course providers who provides specialised trainings for maids taking up such jobs. Econ Careskill Training Centre (ECTC) provides classroom or even home based maid trainings to equip the maids with the relevant skills and knowledge needed. Important do's and don'ts will also be explained to them. For those eligible caregivers, they can receive $200 subsidy to defray the cost of training which usually covers most of the cost.

Proper training and education could have prevented this unfortunate event from happening. While the maid is clearly at fault for not reporting the incident earlier, she acted out of fear instead of having a wilful intention and has now received her justly punishment.

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