Two Indonesian Domestic Workers Escape the Death Penalty

Posted by under Breaking News on 6 September 2005

Think Centre welcomes the High Courts decision which did not impose the death penalty. One of the women suffers from "reactive depression" as a result of stress from loneliness, financial worry and her employer's demands. More needs to be done for the mental health of the the domestic workers. They shoud be given a day-off per week or at least time-off to meet friends and associations to reduce their mental stress.

Two Indonesian maids escape gallows for killing employer
Channel NewsAsia,
05 September 2005

The two Indonesian maids accused of killing employer Esther Ang at her Loyang condominium last March have escaped the gallows.

They were found guilty of culpable homicide not amounting to murder at the High Court.

20-year-old Juminem, the mastermind behind the plot to kill her employer, was sentenced to life imprisonment.

17-year-old Siti Aminah, who worked for the victim's ex-husband, was given 10 years for playing an active part in the crime.

The court heard the pair had planned the killing a week in advance.

On 2nd March last year, they took turns to suffocate the 47-year-old oil rig company purchasing officer and used a wine bottle to hit her abdomen and head several times at Carissa Park condominium.

The maids also faked a break-in by taking her money and valuables.

Juminem then forged her employer's signature on a cheque for $25,000 payable to Siti Aminah.

Still, the sentence offered little reprieve for Ang's family.

Her daughter told reporters that time has helped in the healing process but they have yet to obtain closure.

In delivering the verdict, Justice Choo Han Teck said the 2 women were suffering from an abnormality of the mind which impaired their mental responsibility at the time of the offence as established by experts during the trial.

Juminem was said to be suffering from "reactive depression" as a result of stress from loneliness, financial worry and her employer's demands.

While Siti Aminah's youthfulness, depression and low intellect were considered in sentencing.

Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Mochamad S Hidayat said he's relieved and his Embassy is working with the Manpower Ministry to strengthen cooperation.

He said: "We in Indonesia will try to improve the quality of the domestic worker looking for work in Singapore but at the same time also appeal to employers to treat our domestic workers humanely."

Family members will visit the two women in prison on Tuesday.

They have not decided if they plan to appeal.

Sources and Relevant Links:

Channel NewsAsia Two Indonesian maids escape gallows for killing employer By Wong Siew Ying, 05 September 2005

Think Centre Jakarta: Protest against Death Penalty in Singapore 14 July 2005

Radio68h SINGAPORE: Indonesian migrant worker faces death penalty 09 July 2005

Think Centre Singapore: 300 Indian and Bangladeshi migrant workers stage sit-in strike04 April 2005

Think Centre Singapore: 200 Indian Workers protest at Indian Embassy29 June 2004

Think Centre Indian Migrant Workers Protest Again 17 July 2004

Think Centre Thai Women Workers abused by MMI Precision Ltd 16 December 2003

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