The latest case to emerge highlights the harrowing experience of a domestic helper named Lina (not her real name) hailing from North Sumatra. According to Lina's report to the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, her journey as a domestic helper began in September 2020 when she started working for her employer.
What followed was a cycle of mental and physical abuse that left her with serious injuries. Shockingly, this was not the extent of her ordeal. Lina also endured sexual exploitation by her employer, a fisherman based in Kuala Selangor.
Over the course of nearly three years, Lina has endured not only physical abuse but also the injustice of receiving a paltry monthly wage of RM 900. This, despite bearing a heavy workload extended beyond household chores to include fishing in the sea.
Lina's attempts to escape her employer's clutches were met with failure on at least four occasions, reminiscent of scenes from a movie where each escape was foiled, forcing her back into her dire circumstances.
However, amidst the adversity, a turning point emerged when Lina successfully managed to escape and sought refuge within the local community, evading her captor for four days. The gravity of her ordeal came to the fore when Lina arrived at the Indonesian Embassy on August 19, 2023, bearing injuries on both her hands as a result of brutal treatment. The embassy staff acted promptly, rushing her to a hospital for immediate medical assistance.
The subsequent medical examination revealed that two of Lina's ribs were fractured due to the impact of a wooden object. This in turn caused damage to her lungs, affecting her ability to breathe. Presently, Lina finds herself under the protection of the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, where she is receiving medical treatment for her injuries as well as support through legal proceedings.
The Kuala Selangor Police, who are handling the case, have apprehended two suspects, while another remains at large. The suspects are expected to face charges related to severe physical abuse and sexual exploitation.
Adding another layer to the situation, Ambassador Hermono has been personally involved, reaching out to the investigating officers to emphasize the gravity of Lina's case. He underscores the fact that the Indonesian Government is taking Lina's case seriously and is advocating for the culprits to face the maximum penalties under Malaysian law. This stands as a crucial deterrent for any employer who might consider exploiting or abusing Indonesian domestic helpers.