District Judge Low Wee Ping has disagreed with the prosecutors over the 18 months jail sentencing for a foreign domestic worker, who put a disabled child’s life at risk after she forced her whole hand into his mouth and throat while trying to recover part of a medical device stuck in his throat.
To make things worse, 36 year old Kusrini Caslan Arja even hid the fact that the device was embedded within the boy’s throat from her employers for all of the 12 hours that she did not tell her employers.
The judge said that the penalty was at odds with the punishments for previous cases involving maids who had intentionally caused harm to their employers or their loved ones.
Kusrini was unrepresented by a lawyer. To this, the judge requested for a council of lawyers present in the courtroom, who were all waiting for their cases to be heard, and asked whether they could help represent the worker. Lawyer Mahmood Gaznavi agreed to take up the case without fee.
In appealing for legal aid, Mr Low said: “Let’s do justice, and dispense what we call mercy.”
On 23 November last year, Kusrini noticed that her employer’s child, who has a spinal disease, had more phlegm and mucus than usual. She decided to put the suction cap of a medical device into the boy’s mouth because she felt it was faster and more effecive at cleaning up his respiratory tract. She had been told to keep the cap outside his nose and lips by the boy’s mother, who is a nurse.
The cap fell into his mouth, and Kusrini tried to fish it out with her finger, but failed. She saw blood and panicked, and shoved her entire right hand in to retrieve it. This caused more blood to ooze from the boy’s mouth. The boy’s face turned reddish-purple and he showed signs of a lack of oxygen. To counter this, Kusrini took out her hand to pummp oxygen into his mouth.
When the boy’s mother rushed home after viewing the commotion on her mobile phone, Kusrini hid the facts of the matter from her employer and told her that everything was fine.
Later that day, the boy’s parents found that the pump container of the suction machine was filled with blood and that their son’s heart rate was very high. They realized that there was an object stuck in the boy’s throat and the boy’s mother successfully retrieved it with a pair of tweezers. The child was admitted to KK Hospital’s ICU and discharged 2 days later.