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Indon maid’s death: Minister orders probe

 | June 7, 2011

Joint Task Force to investigate Isti Komariyah's tragic death and ensure justice is done, says Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam.

PETALING JAYA: Human Resources Minister Dr S Subramaniam vowed that justice will done in the recent death of a 26-year-old Indonesian maid believed to have been physically abused by her employers.

“I’m deeply saddened by the death of the maid Isti Komariyah,” Subramaniam told FMT.

“Our deepest condolences to the family in this moment of tragedy. I have asked a joint task force to investigate the case to ensure that justice is done,” he said.

It is understood that the joint task force consists of relevant authorities from both the Malaysian and Indonesian governments.

In Malaysia, it is made up of representatives from the Human Resources Ministry, Foreign Affairs Ministry, Home Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Just last week, an MoU was signed between both countries, lifting a two-year-old freeze on sending Indonesian maids to Malaysia.

The task force was earlier entrusted, among other things, to monitor the implementation of the MoU.

Jakarta had imposed the freeze in June 2009, following numerous complaints of maids allegedly being abused by employers.

Prior to the ban, Indonesia was sending about 3,000 maids to Malaysia every month.

Subramaniam refused to be drawn into making a comment if the latest tragedy would affect the import of maids especially so soon after the signing of the MoU.

Police investigations ongoing

The MoU improved on the terms and guidelines for Indonesian maids working here, but has been described as ‘inadequate’ by civil society  groups  to protect maids’ rights.

Meanwhile, Selangor police chief Tun Hisan Tun Hamzah said he has yet to receive the post-mortem result from the pathologist, but added that investigations are still ongoing.

“We have interviewed the employer’s children and neighbours and are retrieving more statements, documents, and analysing other exhibits, basically tying up loose ends,” he said

Isti, who worked for the couple at Taman Sea Petaling Jaya died early on Sunday at the University Malaya Medical Centre at 7.50am.

She reportedly suffered bruises and scratch marks on her back, arms and forehead, both new and old.

Police, who have classified the case as murder under Secion 302 of the Penal Code, detained her employers, a 56-year-old man and his 53-year-old wife, to assist in the investigation.

Isti had been working with the couple at their house since December of 2008.

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