Sunday, June 14, 2009

Siti Hajar & her Misery

For many years, there have been news about Indonesian women working abroad who were tortured by their bosses, the latest one is Siti Hajar , who originated from Garut, West Java. Photo: courtesy of Tempointeraktif

According to Tempointeraktif, Siti Hajar was recruited by a labor recruitment agency PT Mangga Dua Mahkota on 28 April 2006 who senther to work with a family Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. However, until recently, Siti has not contacted and sent money her two sons Tony (14) & Jakki (4). Siti's family in Garut never heard from her until one evening on 8 June 2009, when the local Police came to verify about Siti. Later, Siti's uncle Uty Sutisna received a phone call from our Embassy in Kuala Lumpur informing that Siti is in a hospital for treatment of her bad wounds.

Siti started to work in Kuala Lumpur on 2 July 2006 for the family of Lim Hu Su, but for days later she moved to the family home of Hau Yuang Tyng(aka Michelle), who never paid her salary for 34 months and brutally tortured her whenever she made a mistake, e.g Pouring her body with Boiling water, or beat her with a wooden stick.

Poskota reported that on 12 June 2009 Siti was released from the hospital treatment and went to stay at our embassy premise.

For crime that Michelle has committed, according to Republika, the Police informed that she may be punnished for 15 years imprisonment. The Malaysian government promised that Siti's wounds shall be taken care of. Further, Michelled and her family have paid Siti's long delayed salary amounting to M$ 17,000 (around Rp 51 million). Beside that, she has also receive donation of Rp 20 million from an Indonesian workers association, a\nd another Rp 20 million from PT Mangga Dua Mahkota.

In spite of the very bad wounds suffered by Siti, Kompas reported that during Police questioning, Michelle has denied having tortured Siti. In response to this, the Indonesian Ambassador Dai Bachtiar said that Michelle cannot deny because previously she has confessed to him about the torture. He added that President Susilo Bambang Yudoyono is very concerned about this case.

What happened to Siti Hajar and other Indonesian women working abroad, is a very bitter lesson for others who worked and or plan to work abroad to be extra careful in selecting recruitment agency that arrange their employement. They should make sure that the contract with the employers would not inflict losses on them. For which purpose, our government should closely supervise the sending of our workers to foreign countries, and conclude agreement with the foreign government concerned, that would protect our workers. That way we can expected that our workers would not be mistreated anymore.


Pete said...

I read about this case in the newspaper. Real sad how some employer treat their maid.

Harry Nizam H. said...

Yes, very sad indeed.
Thank you for your comment.

Will said...

Hi Multibrand.
I don't know if you know but about 3 years ago they passed a new law in Belgium thatr allows non residents of belgium to start a court case AGAINST PEOPLE LIVING IN OTHER COUNTRIES SOME HAVE DONE THIS ALLREADY ,THE US WASN'T HAPPY WITH THIS LAW BUT ANYONE CAN USE IT.

Harry Nizam H. said...

That sounds GREAT!
I'll check it out.
Thanks a bunch!

Richard DelaCruz said...

Its so sad the way people think they can treat other people like they are not anything unfortunately it happens everywhere not just in indonesia.But wanted to let you know that you are doing a great job in making sure the world is aware of whats going on all over the world.
Richard DelaCruz

Harry Nizam H. said...

It is very sad indeed.
Thank you for your kind words.