An employer failed to pay his Indonesian maid in full for more than three years, depriving her of salaries amounting to $7,450.
Finally, Ms Umi Kholifah went to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to seek help.
Her employer, Razalee Rasdi, 51, ended up facing 23 charges under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act (EFMA).
He was fined a total of $21,000, in default 105 days' jail, by the State Courts after being convicted of eight charges. The other charges were taken into consideration during sentencing last Tuesday.
The MOM has also barred him from employing foreign domestic workers (FDW).
Razalee was fined $12,000 for six charges for non-payment of salary, $1,000 for failure to maintain a proper salary record, and $8,000 for illegal employment.
Ms Umi lodged a complaint with MOM on June 11 last year that her employer had not been paying her salary.
Investigations revealed that Razalee failed to pay her in full from February 2010 to May last year, and the arrears amounted to $7,450. He was also unable to produce any record showing the breakdown of salary payments, and had continued to employ Ms Umi after her work permit was revoked in February 2012 because he had defaulted on his monthly FDW levy payments.
Ms Umi is now placed with a new employer, and Razalee has paid her salary arrears in full.
This is not an isolated case, said an MOM release.
In the first half of this year, three other employers were convicted of not paying their maids' salaries.
In 2013 and 2012, five and 12 employers were convicted of the same offence respectively, and were fined up to $7,000.
Employers must ensure prompt payment of salaries to their FDWs at least once every month, MOM said.
Those who fail to do so can be fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to 12 months if convicted under the EFMA.
This article was first published on July 23, 2014.
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