News/Malayasia: Malaysian Addresses Abuse of Maids

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Subject: News/Malayasia: Malaysian Addresses Abuse of Maids
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Fri Feb 25 2000 - 09:53:08 EST


Malaysian Addresses Abuse of Maids
February 20, 2000

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) Malaysia's top immigration official
suggested on Sunday that personal recruitment of maids could help solve the
growing problem of their abuse.

The recent spate of cases of maids, mostly from Indonesia, being physically
abused by their employers have drawn a great deal of attention in the local
media. Women's organizations have asked the government to hand down heavier
penalties to people who abuse their maids.

In one case, a maid accused her employer of keeping her in a cage. Another
said a beating cracked her skull. Yet another said her employer raped her.

The comment from Aseh Che Mat, urging the people to depend less on agencies
to find maids and do the recruiting themselves, appeared to be placing the
blame for the growing abuse on the hiring process.

Women's organizations were not available for comment late Sunday.

"This would be a better way as it enables employers to know whether the
maids are suitable or not," Aseh was quoted as saying by the national news
agency Bernama.

Aseh said 136 employment agencies supplying foreign workers are now
registered in Malaysia.

Melanie Orhant <<morhant@igc.org>>
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