Cambodian Maid dies due to Prolonged Starvation

April 6, 2012

Cambodian Maid dies due to Prolonged Starvation

by AFP@

Malaysian Police have detained a couple over the alleged murder of a Cambodian maid after the 24-year-old woman died of possible prolonged starvation, police said on Thursday.

Mey Sichan’s employers telephoned for an ambulance on March 31 but paramedics found her dead on arrival, Nasir Salleh,Police Chief of Penang, told AFP. She also had bruises to her body.

A post-mortem revealed that she died from acute gastritis and ulcers likely due to lack of food over a long period, he said.

The maid had been working for the family, who manage a hardware shop, for eight months.”Definitely what happened to Sichan is inhumane. It is a shock to us,” the Police Chief said.

Sichan’s body weight had shrunk to 26 kilos, almost half that of a healthy woman, he said.Police detained a couple, the maid’s employers, on Saturday, and are also questioning three workers of their shop to assist in the murder probe.

Temporary ban

In October, Cambodia imposed a temporary ban on sending domestic workers to Malaysia following numerous complaints of abuse. The surprise move came after activists highlighted dozens of cases of sexual abuse, overwork and exploitation among the estimated 50,000 Cambodian women employed as domestic helpers in Malaysia.

Reports of abuse in Malaysia have frequently surfaced in recent years and led Indonesia to stop sending domestic helpers to the country in 2009, prompting a rise in demand for Cambodians.

Last August a Malaysian was sentenced to eight years in prison for abusing his Indonesian maid, three months after his wife was jailed for scalding the woman with a hot iron.

About 170,000 women, mostly from poor neighbouring Southeast Asian countries, work as maids in Malaysia.


30 thoughts on “Cambodian Maid dies due to Prolonged Starvation

  1. Malaysians are a bloody disgrace… Becoming more and more international pariahs…. These Malaysian families should be shot with a bullet behind their heads each.

  2. “If you can’t respect guests and media, however critical, then not only are you an unfit host, but a downright rude, arrogant hick.”–CLF

    That is what you say of a much respected leader of Cambodia who is known for his charitable work among his people. I disagree with you because I know Prime Minister Hun Sen personally. Who is more barbaric? Who is more inhuman? What kind of image do you think people abroad have of us?

    I personally think we are a people devoid of humanity. I am surprised that you, CLF, can make this comment (quoted above). I would not treat my cat like what this Penang employer did to his maid. I hope the authorities come hard on the person (s) responsible for this inhuman act.–Din Merican

  3. What is happening to M’sians? That they mistreat human beings like this. Even animals treat each other better and we are born with reason, supposedly.

    What is this phenomenon? Mental Illness of our people? If so how prevalent or just sheer evil?

    If there are reports of abuse and it is on the rise what are the authorities doing to get on top of it and find out how to handle this. So the maids have to be assessed when they come over, now it looks like we have to assess the mental state of the future employers at this rate because obviously having money doesn’t mean squat.

  4. I expect the Chief Minister of Penang to make a statement on this matter, apologise to the Cambodian authorities, and offer some compensation to the family of the deceased in Cambodia. This incident occurred under his watch. The Police should be thorough in their investigations so that those responsible should bear the full brunt of the law and face the consequences.

    Shameful and “bloody disgrace” (Frank). As for CLF, he should keep his mouth shut. Look at your own leaders before you comment on a foreign leader.

  5. Yes criminal charge and compensation to the family.

    Thats the very least because that wont bring back the mother, wife, daughter, sister ,most of all human being, who came over to a foreign land, scared and alone, to earn pittance only to lead to this.

    “Devoid of humanity”, “bloody disgrace”.

  6. Don’t blame the authority when something like this happens. It is us the employers who should be held responsible. Indonesia and Cambodia should stop allowing their maids to work here so that we all can learn a lesson from this. If we can’t treat our maids decently, then we don’t deserve to have them.
    Sorry to say this: we are too arrogant to learn anything. Both Cambodia and Indonesian no longer allows their citizens to work here as maids. Employers should be severely punished so that inhumanity of this sort does recurr.–Din Merican

  7. Maids are HUMAN, whether they come from Cambodia, Indonesia etc etc. We Malaysians are also HUMAN. Everyone should remember that. If you cannot treat your maids as HUMAN, then don’t employ one. Such cruel and despicable employers ought to be charged and jailed.

  8. This a crime against humanity. These Malaysian families should be brought to justice and sent to jail.

    Folks, deny yourself as Malaysian if you go overseas if OUR GOVT is not going to punish these animals in our midst.

  9. ‘ What are the authorities doing…..? ‘ i agree with Frank, that masters & employers sholud be ‘ shot ‘ if the Malaysian authorities are doing nothing.
    But yeah…they are doing something in this slave-trading , called the Malaysian Maid (oops Made) Industry of human=traficking : the outside Agents in league with the Insiders, what was that….? Immigration…i heard.
    Bloody disgrace ! C’mon….Govt should revamp this filtering procees of maid-trafficking/
    Not just this one, many times too often before…..perversity & sadism of human behaviour at its most despicable to enjoy and see his ” slave ” being tortured & deprived of food….leading to a slow death….

    First degree Murder ! shoot them Frank.

  10. …. and we want change, transparency, etc etc etc??

    How la to have a better Malaysia when Malaysians have such mindsets? And we are the ones that condemn Israel and yet we are doing such stuff on our maids?

  11. Dato, I stand on my opinion of Hun Sen, basically because i see him as many opposition minded people in Cambodia do. Democracy and suffrage by his terms only. Knowing a person personally, does not mean i have to venerate his warts and all. Same as my ‘friends’ in UMNO or PR. I am not a political animal and see things as i perceive them to be, and not emotionalize upon them. My comments were on another thread on diplomacy and political regionalism. It has nothing to do with the cruelty or inhumanity on this thread.

    The Ugly Malaysian is encultured by a sense of entitlement. These look up to those who they deem as superiors, cut down those who are in their peer group (cf Tall poppy syndrome) and abhor those whom they deem inferior. Whatever egalitarian sense of propriety is alien and inimical to the Feudalistic-Patriarchal world view we Asians have – i.e. bodoh-sombong.

    With the exception of taking care of the elderly and very young, why do we need ‘maids’? Because we Malaysian are malas-bodoh, and can’t even wipe their own arses.
    I do not venerate any one. Hun Sen is a strong leader.Norodom Ranariddh and Sam Rainsy are democrats. –Din Merican

  12. The Ugly Malaysian is encultured by a sense of entitlement. These look up to those who they deem as superiors, cut down those who are in their peer group (cf Tall poppy syndrome) and abhor those whom they deem inferior. Whatever egalitarian sense of propriety is alien and inimical to the Feudalistic-Patriarchal world view we Asians have – i.e. bodoh-sombong. -CLF

    CLF, what would have Sigmund said if was alive today to this?

    parents(the gov/civil service) who abuse their children(citizens) can expect their children to do the same’
    there’s something fundamentally wrong with the malaysian psyche in general. is it the frustration we suffer from?
    or is it as said by CLF, above? or is it the repetition of the biblical Cain who raised his hand?

    having a maid is a status symbol lah, the more the better. my previous neighbour had six of them in a household of three!

    funny thing, tourists speak very high of the malaysian hospitality or is it reserved only for fair skinned?

    if you can’t understand the reason for living and the value of life you are sick in mind – something like that, said Freud.

  13. There are so many Malaysians who look down at countries like Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines etc. They think these countries are only suitable in providing maids for the consumption of these arrogant nitwits. Malaysians can’t believe countries like Indonesia and Cambodia have the audacity to impose ban on sending maids to Malaysia. Yeah, like when there are so many abuse cases you’d expect no actions from these countries’ governments? We’ve become a country of full of arrogance but without nothing to be arrogant about.

  14. There goes our truly caring society.

    There was a time when Malaysians could quite confidently say where they were from when overseas and be greeted with respect and friendly smiles. Today I am not so sure and very reluctantly divulge that information for fear I may be at the receiving end of some expletives-deleted sentences.

    But I may be worrying unnecessarily. Not because the Malaysian reputation is intact, but that foreigners have better graces and decency than the traits that Malaysians seem to exhibit a lot of lately.

  15. Malaysians are fast gaining reputation abroad as fraudsters, drug traffickers, human traffickers and peddlars of child ponography and Malaysia a corrupt third world rogue nation, training ground for religious extremists and a government known for its human rights abuses – and the list is growing.

  16. “..what would have Sigmund said if was alive today to this?” reeper.

    Anal retentive, with sadomasochistic obsessive traits.
    Anyway, speaking from a perspective of an employer of both Filipino and Indonesian domestic helps (i don’t call them ‘maids’), i have for the past 5 years given up. Some were the epitome of excellent house makers and child carers; the later batches were ‘spotty’ and terrible. So i would rather send them back to the agency and lose money, than to suffer insanity. The language barrier was insurmountable and culture of cleanliness is absent.

    To be fair, most Malaysian employers are caring, but in there are pathological types in any society. I think the ban by the Indonesians and Cambodians will teach Malaysians the value of ‘suffering’, if domestic work is considered such. Status symbols include posh cars, a harem of mistresses-concubines (or wives), palatial mansions with swimming pools, requiring an army of ‘servants’, wet nurses to breast feed the pets and the ability to borrow money as if there was no tomorrow. Anything else new?

  17. For the Indonesians, we are now viewed as arrogant and a big bully. It is about time they banned or restrict their citizens to work as maids here. They are not just maids but also gardeners, car washers, extra hands manning employers’s businesses including pasar malam stalls etc etc. Our authorities are not serious in handling these abused maids problem. It has been on-going for a long time with many of these cruel employers getting away.

    It is similar to foreign construction workers building our homes, malls and skyscrapers. Also those who worked in our factories, plantations, restaurants etc etc where our own people refused to soil their hands. We greatly depend on them yet we do not want them to live near our homes, shop in our malls or relax in our parks.

    We have become a haughty people with a government that we deserved.

  18. Anything else new? CLF., Oh yes how about foreign wives preferably blond or red?

    I remember my days in India as student, how my fellow malaysians treated the ‘locals’ with disrespect and ridicule just because the locals were poor, spoke bad english and respected us for coming from a developed(!) country.

    I remember my early years in Europe where I had to do all kinds of odd jobs to finance my study, how my employers treated me with respect and understanding for coming from a developing country and who spoke broken german.

    those causing a death of the maid should be punished severely.

    CLF, your comments are of pedagogic value, thanks!

  19. We also have a dinosaur minister allegedly mounted his Indonesian maid by force recently didn’t we? And then allegedly finds that tutu outfits of ballet dancers are obscene and “bukan budaya kita”? What a bunch of hypocrites!

  20. If I ever meet that dinosaur minister alone in the elevator, I will definitely slap him so hard he will see stars for three days and three nights….

  21. They have help over here too. But they pay by the hour. You see the problem is we dont have Unions to protect workers rights, well not strong enough .

    I agree that M’sians should not have to have maids , lazy bums. Using that as a status symbol. How pathetic are you using that as a status symbol . Must be an inferiority complex thinking you can use people who are desperate , coming from countries that are torn apart by tyrants, risking their lives for pittance, vulnerable to show you are “upper class”. Pathetic.

    Do your own housework. We do over here and work and some have kids and cook ourselves etc etc. Whats the excuse?

  22. due to laziness.. That why people take maids but… Some people not just lazy to do house chores but also so kedekut even to feed their maids.

    I used to know few maids who work at the boss shop in the morning and continue after that at the boss house.


  23. The cases of maid abuse should be taken to the Human Rights Commission. Malaysian laws have failed to deter the abuse. What have been highlighted is only a small percentage of cases of abuse while thousand of others go unreported. In the end Malaysia gets the bad name, not the individuals that abuse. Ah Jib Gor needs to come down hard on these cases to send a strong message to the employers and would be employers.

  24. Those Indonesians who found their way to Malaysia are uneducated and poor and have never travelled anywhere. Those that have education and are unafraid to learn the language find their way to the United States. There are at least 2.0 million or more residing in the U.S. illegally working in warehouses. They are hardworking and have carved out successful lives for themselves. Some have chlidren who are U.S. citizens. The lucky ones are those who applied for asylum in the wake of the race riots of 1997 and are now U.S. citizens. Others have gone to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan and have amassed enough savings to return and open up their own businesses. You can see them of fb to see the kind of lives they lead.

    The Indonesian government must do something to stop the exploitation. This is disgraceful. In Malaysia the rule of law must be restored so these criminals could be brought to court and made to face justice. The Legal Aid Bureau ought to be looking into these cases.

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