Malasia - Indonesian domestic workers abused and tortured (2010)

On 26 October, police reported that Ms. Mautik Hani, an Indonesian maid who was severely beaten by her Malaysian employer, had died. Police found Mautik Hani on 26 October unconscious in the bathroom at her employer’s residence with her hands and feet bound. Her face and body were covered with scars and bruises. On 8 June, Ms. Siti Hajar, another Indonesian maid who had been repeatedly tortured for a period of almost three years, was able to escape from her employer’s home and seek refuge in the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur. Ms. Siti Haja was badly scarred from the beating and having boiling water poured on her. After this incident was exposed, Indonesia temporarily halted the sending of domestic workers to Malaysia. On 13 June, Antara reported that another housemaid, Ms. Nurul Wijayanti, was recently found dead in her employer’s house. She allegedly committed suicide, according to an official at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

On 2 September, Malaysia’s Home Ministry announced that Indonesian domestic workers working in Malaysia would be given one day off each week and allowed to keep their passports while working in Malaysia. These terms were agreed upon by Malaysia and Indonesia at their third meeting of the Working Committee on the Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Maids on 20 August. As of November, Indonesia and Malaysia were still negotiating a revised bilateral agreement including a special Malaysian task force to deal with employer abuse and a higher minimum wage. The Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) also reiterated its call to the government to allow foreign maids to form a union or at least an association to protect their interests. MTUC Secretary-General, G. Rajasegaran, told a press conference that the 300,000 maids in Malaysia, unlike in neighbouring countries, were not protected by any legislation.

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