GEORGE TOWN: A women’s rights group today decried the public prosecutor’s decision to drop a murder case against an employer who allegedly abused her Indonesian maid.
Adelina Lisao, 26, died due to multiple organ failure following the alleged abuse at a house in Bukit Mertajam last year.
Adelina’s employer, Ambika MA Shan, 61, escaped the gallows after the High Court was reported to have granted her a full acquittal on a murder charge today after the deputy public prosecutor requested for a discharge not amounting to an acquittal.
Tenaganita executive director Glorene A Das said the court’s decision was shocking and the Attorney-General’s Chambers must answer why there was no justice for Adelina, when there was apparently clear evidence.
“She was a young woman made to work for two years without pay. She was a young woman whose body was brutalised. Her death has to mean something.
“Why have our courts failed her? Why has the Malaysian government failed her? Where is justice for Adelina?” she asked in a statement today.
Glorene said with the government launching a “war” against human trafficking and forced labour, the dropping of the case shows no justice for victims like Adelina, who had been apparently tortured at work.
“Tenaganita is distraught over this news. We cannot imagine the unbearable grief of Adelina’s family,” she said.
Adelina’s squalid living conditions were first noticed by a concerned neighbour.
The neighbour then alerted a journalist on Facebook on the matter. Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim later sent his team to investigate.
Adelina was found with pus-filled hands and legs and she could barely walk. Her wounds appeared to be not healing. She was also allegedly forced to sleep on the porch with a dog.
Her employers took her to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital at the urging of Sim’s team.
She died after spending a night at the hospital. Adelina’s case garnered the attention of national newspapers in Indonesia.
Tenaganita had called it “a widespread and deep-seated malaise” in society in their treatment of migrant domestic workers.
Consul General of Indonesia in Penang, Iwanshah Wibisono, who attended the court proceedings, had earlier said that Adelina’s family had received her deferred salary amounting to RM69,300 from her former employer.