Mum of Woman Who Abused FDW to Death Pled Guilty to Abusing the FDW, Too

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A 64-year-old woman has been sentenced to 30 years of jail last year for abuse of a domestic worker that led to her death. She pleaded guilty on 21 November 2022 to multiple charges.

The woman, Ms Prema S Naraynasamy, joined her daughter Ms Gaiyathri Murugayan in abusing their helper, Ms Piang Ngaih Don, killing her eventually.


Ms Prema will be sentenced on 9 January 2023 for 48 charges of voluntarily causing hurt.

There is also an additional charge of causing the disappearance of evidence, although no specific details were mentioned.

How the Domestic Worker Was Treated

Ms Piang was always perceived to be a slow worker who ate too much, according to the family. They enforced rules such as wearing multiple layers of face masks as they deemed her unhygienic.

She was also not given privacy, even during showering or going to the bathroom, and Ms Prema and Ms Gaiyathri had to watch her.

Besides abusing her, they also limited her sleep to five hours a night, deprived her of food, and drew public outrage when their deeds came to light.

Acts of Abuse by The Family, Leading to The Domestic Worker’s Death

The Closed-circuit television video (CCTV) revealed the acts of abuse, with Ms Prema seen on most days.

One incident includes how Ms Prema punched the worker and used a bamboo pole to hit Ms Piang multiple times on her head and neck.


In another incident, Ms Prema threw Ms Piang on the kitchen floor, leaving her to eat her food while seated on the floor. A man was also seen grabbing the worker by her hair and lifting her off the floor.

According to Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stephanie Koh, Ms Prema choked Ms Piang’s neck and poured a basin of water on her before Ms Gaiyathri tied her to a window grille hours before her passing.

She was left soaking wet and tied to the window grille in the same room as Ms Prema slept.

The next morning, she was found motionless and their attempts to resuscitate her were futile.

Her death was discovered on 26 July 2016 in their three-room flat at Bishan Street 11.

The Aftermath of The Incident 

After finding Ms Piang unconscious, Ms Prema and Ms Gaiyathri called a doctor for a house visit—claiming that they found her unconscious on the kitchen floor that morning.

The doctor pronounced Ms Piang dead and insisted that the police be called.

Ms Piang weighed just 24kg when she passed on, losing 15kg when working for the family.

She suffered multiple injuries, including a neck fracture and multiple head injuries.

The Penalties 

Ms Gaitathiri pleaded guilty in June last year to culpable homicide in the High Court and was sentenced to 30 years in jail.

She admitted to the abusive acts with Ms Prema towards Ms Piang almost daily over nine months.

Ms Gaiyathiri’s ex-husband, Mr Kelvin Chelvam, also faces five charges.

He allegedly removed the CCTV recorder system installed in the flat and lied to investigators saying their tenants requested it.


They divorced back on 13 January 2020.

Ms Prema could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both for voluntarily causing hurt.

Similar Incidents in the Past 

A woman by the name of Mun, made her domestic worker punch herself and used a meat pounder to hit her teeth back in April 2018.

The first abuse incident happened about two months into the victim’s employment: Mun hit her shoulder with the floor nozzle of a vacuum cleaner.

Weeks later, she used her fist to strike the victim.


In November 2018, because the maid was hungry, she ate a can of sardines for lunch.

Furious, Mun punched her several times on her cheeks.

Anger unabated, Mun ordered the maid to punch herself in the cheeks 50 times because she felt the maid would “remember the pain better”.

The victim reluctantly agreed and punched herself while counting off.

At the end of the ordeal, her cheeks were bruised, but she wasn’t taken to the doctor.


In February 2019, Mun lost her temper again when she saw fingerprints on the kitchen windows.

She insisted that she wanted her maid’s teeth to “drop” as punishment and refused other forms of compensation.

Initially, she made the victim pull down her lower lips and punch herself in the teeth.

When it failed, she forced the victim to grab a meat pounder from the kitchen and hit herself in the lower teeth.

Even though the victim struck herself with the tool over fifty times, her teeth did not drop, though three lower teeth were loosened.


Angered, Mun grabbed the tool and knocked out one of her lower teeth.

Throughout the month, the abuse continued with Mun punching the victim’s mouth about ten times, causing blood and teeth to be loosened.

Eventually, the victim called the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), who called the police.

By then, the abuse has been going on for over eight months.

It was noted that Mun suffered from depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) when the incidents happened.


On Tuesday 16 March 2021, the then 41-year-old Mun was sentenced to 15 months in jail.

Remember this: treat your foreign domestic workers with respect.

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