PETALING JAYA: A young domestic worker, who was rescued after suffering verbal and mental torture by an abusive employer, encountered further disrespectful treatment at her country’s embassy, says rights group Tenaganita.
When she was taken to the embassy in Kuala Lumpur to report the matter and apply for fresh travel documents, “she was treated in an improper and disrespectful manner”, Tenaganita programme manager Prema Arasan said.
The maid was made to sit in the same room with the employer, and also denied the right to have a representative from Tenaganita present, she added.
The maid, who is in her 20s, was identified only as Su.
According to Prema, the officer at the embassy even made judgemental remarks about Su, and also allowed the employer to hold on to Su’s passport, in violation of the Passports Act.
She said Su had been denied her basic rights including proper accommodation and three meals a day. Her bedroom was a small prayer room without a bed and proper ventilation.
“Her movements were restricted. She was allowed outside only to throw rubbish, and was barred from attending church,” Prema said.
She added that the young woman’s passport was also withheld, and her wages were not properly paid, including overtime wages to which she was entitled.
Prema said Su “was tortured verbally and mentally”, which resulted in her falling into depression and suffering from anxiety. She said Tenaganita rescued Su after being informed by her family.
Glorene Das, executive director of Tenaganita urged diplomatic missions in Malaysia to design a more victim-centred approach to protect foreign workers and provide a safe place for migrants.
She said that Su’s case was not an isolated one and there have been a few more cases involving the same embassy.
FMT is seeking a response from the embassy in question.