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.