An Indonesian maid who was found beaten in the home of her Malaysian employers (identified as Murugan and Vanitha) died on Monday, after being hospitalized nearly a week, officials said.
Her employers, a Malaysian couple from Klang Selangor, about 50 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur, were arrested and face murder charges, according to an Indonesian Embassy official.
The victim, Muntik Binti Bani, 39, a migrant worker from Jember, East Java, died at Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang Selangor, said Widyarka Ryananta, the embassy’s information, social and cultural affairs counsellor.
“Her backbone was broken, so was her right wrist, and there were bruises on her face,” Widyarka said. “It is clear that she had been beaten.”
Muntik was found in a bathroom when police raided the family’s home on Oct. 20 on a tip-off from a local resident. When she was rescued, she couldn’t move her legs, and Widyarka said that when the Indonesian ambassador, Da’i Bachtiar, visited her on Friday, her condition had worsened and she couldn’t communicate.
Wahyu Susilo, a public policy analyst at Migrant Care, said it had urged the government to push Malaysia to provide the best possible medical care for Muntik.
“I don’t understand why our embassy in Malaysia moved so slowly,” Wahyu said. “They should have moved faster and asked the Malaysian government to give special treatment to Muntik.”
Her death was the latest case of migrant worker abuse in Malaysia, which this year prompted Indonesia to ban new domestic helpers from moving there until a new labor agreement was negotiated. The two governments still haven’t reached a deal after months of talks.
Muntik was a mother of three, and according to her husband, Suparno, who spoke to the embassy on Monday, she first arrived in Malaysia in November 2004.
Widyarka said the embassy was coordinating with the Malaysian government, and that both employers, Murugan, 35, and Vanitha, 29, would be charged with murder, which could see them executed if found guilty.
–The Jakarta Globe