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Jul 8, 2008

Dog Leash @ 5 Towels
She falls to her death
By Genevieve Jiang

She left her 4-year-old daughter back home in Myanmar in search of a better life in Singapore.

But life here as a maid was far from what she had expected.

Unhappy and desperate for a way out, she allegedly tried to escape - an attempt that ended in tragedy.

Ms. Khim Cho Oo, 33, is believed to have slipped and fallen to her death as she was climmbing out of a window of the third storey of an HDB flat.

The accident happened at Block 896C Woodlands Drive 50 at about 5:30 pm on Wednesday.

Ms. Khim was found lying motionless face down, clad in a black shirt and blue jeans.

Next to her were five blood-stained towels, which had been tied together to form a line. A white handbag had been tied to them, reported Shin Min Daily News.

A pink dog leash was found dangling from the window where she had allegedly tried to escape.

Ms. Khim's previous employer, Mr. Louis Lee, 28, a businessman, told The New paper that she was unhappy working as a maid.

She arrived in Singapore in May and started working for him at his Woodlands flat that same month.

She was referred to him by the Woodlands branch of the JPB Employment Agency, which has six branches island-wide,

Said Mr. Lee ’A few days into the job and she was already saying that she missed home and wanted to go back.

'I advised her to give herself more time because I've heard of many foreign workers who pay a lot to come here and if they go back halfway, they'll end up having to pay their agents a tidy sum.'

Mr. Lee said he had employed her to take care of his 2-year-old son.

Ms. Khim told him she graduated from a university in Myanmar four years ago, with a degree in history.

She said she also had a certificate in computer studies from a private school in 1997.

He said: 'She said she didn't want to work as a maid but hoped to get some office or clerical work here that suited her qualifications. It was obvious she was unhappy working as a maid. She didn't seem interested to learn.'






RUN AWAY

She even ran away from home a week into the job, said Mr. Lee.

'I was at work when I got a call from one of my Myanmar friends that she had run away. I had introduced them when I asked him (my friend) to be an interpreter for me and her.'

She had contacted this friend for help after running away, but Mr. Lee said his friend managed to persuade her to return. She went back to Mr. Lee's flat that same day.

But a month later, she again insisted on returning to Myanmar, said Mr. Lee. So he contacted the JPB to take her back. He said he had not been in touch with her since she left last month.

Her 44-year-old uncle, who is in construction, told Lianhe Wanbao that she came here because she could not find work back home. He said that Ms. Khim had saved $ 2,400 for her passage here.

Ms. Khim was divorced. Her daughter is being cared for by her father.

Said her uncle 'She was so homesick she wanted to return home. Because she had breached her contract, she was supposed to pay her agent $1,000.

'She had asked me for help in getting the money, but I don't earn much as a construction worker, so I told her to be patient. I didn't expect her to resort to such drastic measures.'

He said the Woodlands flat was where she was housed with other maids. He added that he doesn't have enough money to send her body home.

When The New paper called JPB Employment Agency at its Woodlands office yesterday, a staff member said she couldn't comment on the incident.

When we visited the Woodlands flat yesterday evening, the unit's tenants refused to open the door.

But neighbors said women of various nationalities, including Chinese, Indonesian, and Filipino, were often seen entering and leaving that flat.

Said Mr. Lee, 'Although Ms. Khim worked for only a month with me, I'm really saddened by what has happened.

'If her relatives need help transporting her body home, I will try my best to help.'

The police are investigating the case as one of unnatural death.


The New Paper VOA News

Credit to MA GYITTU

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