After maid's death, group demands law to protect migrant workers

Indonesian domestic worker Adelina was allegedly abused and forced to sleep at her employer's car porch with a dog for a month. — Picture courtesy of Steven Sim's office
Indonesian domestic worker Adelina was allegedly abused and forced to sleep at her employer's car porch with a dog for a month. — Picture courtesy of Steven Sim's office

GEORGE TOWN, Feb 12 — Malaysia must enact laws to safeguard migrant worker welfare, said Tenaganita today following a domestic worker’s death after allegedly being forced to sleep outdoors with a family's dog.

Director of the rights advocacy group, Glorene Das, expressed her outrage today at the continued incidents of domestic worker abuse in Malaysia.

“How long are we going to let this happen again and again. The rules and regulations within the Employment Act for domestic workers seem not to be protecting them,” she told Malay Mail when contacted.

She was commenting on the death of an Indonesian domestic worker by the name of Adelina in Bukit Mertajam here yesterday from alleged abuse.

Glorene asserted that the classification of such workers as “domestic servants” or “maids” in the Employment Act encouraged the mindset of an “master-servant relationship” among some employers.

“The death of one domestic worker is one too many; we seriously need to address the root causes of why employers feel it is perfectly normal to abuse a domestic worker,” she said.

Glorene added that both the government and relevant ministry must also be held responsible for the latest death, saying it was the result of their failure to put in place the necessary laws and policies against such abuse.

On Saturday, workers from Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim’s office visited a house in Medan Kota Permai 2 where Adelina had allegedly been abused and forced to sleep at the car porch with her employer’s pet dog for a month.

When the employers refused to cooperate with Sim’s aides, his office lodged a police report on the case.

After the police contacted the employer, they brought Adelina to the police station and she had later been admitted to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

The 21-year-old domestic worker died in the hospital at about 4.30pm yesterday and the police arrested two suspects to assist in investigations into the case.

The suspects are under investigation for murder and remanded until February 14.

A post mortem examination to determine the cause of death is currently underway at the Seberang Jaya Hospital.

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