February 21, 2018 / 11:34 AM / 6 months ago

Malaysian woman charged with murder of Indonesian helper in latest case of abuse

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - Malaysian prosecutors on Wednesday charged a 60-year-old woman with murdering an Indonesian domestic helper who was found with bruises on her face and died from her injuries, state news agency Bernama said.

It is the latest such case in a series. In 2008, a Malaysian was sentenced to jail for scalding her Indonesian domestic helper with a hot iron. Years later, a Malaysian couple were convicted of starving an Indonesian domestic helper to death.

Adelina Lisao, 28, was rescued on Feb. 10 from her employer’s home in Penang after neighbors reported she had been forced to sleep next to a dog in a covered car parking area attached to the house. She died the next day in hospital.

M.A. Ambika was charged with murder, while her daughter was charged with hiring a foreigner without valid documents, Bernama reported.

Malaysia is officially host to nearly two million migrant workers, though some estimates say millions more work in the country illegally, many the victims of trafficking. Indonesians are the biggest pool of foreign workers in Malaysia.

Indonesia banned its citizens from taking up jobs as domestic helpers in Malaysia between 2009 and 2011.

In 2011, Cambodia banned its citizens from going to work in Malaysia as maids following a series of reports of beatings and rapes.

Last month, the Philippines suspended sending workers to Kuwait after President Rodrigo Duterte said abuse by employers there had driven several domestic helpers to suicide.

Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Nick Macfie

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