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Worker abuse must stop, says Tenaganita

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GEORGE TOWN — Laws must be enacted to safeguard the welfare of migrant workers, said Tenaganita, following the death of a domestic worker alleged to have been forced to sleep outdoors with the family dog.

The director of the rights advocacy group, Glorene Das, expressed her outrage at the continued abuse of domestic workers in Malaysia.

“How long are we going to let this inhuman behaviour happen? The rules and regulations within the Employment Act for domestic workers do not seem to be protecting them,” she told Malay Mail.

Das was commenting on the death of Indonesian domestic worker Adelina Lisao, 26, in Bukit Mertajam on Sunday, some 24 hours after she was rescued from the alleged abuse.

She asserted the classification of such workers as “domestic servants” or “maids” in the Employment Act encouraged the mindset of a “master-servant relationship” among employers.

“The death of one domestic worker is one too many. We seriously need to address the root causes of why employers feel it is perfectly normal to abuse a domestic worker,” she said.

Das said both the government and relevant ministry must also be held responsible for the latest death, adding it was the result of their failure to put in place the necessary laws and policies against such abuse.

On Saturday, staff from Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim’s office visited a house in Medan Kota Permai 2, where Adelina had allegedly been abused and forced to sleep under the car porch with her employer’s pet dog for a month.

When the employers refused to cooperate with Sim’s staff, his office lodged a police report.

After police contacted the employer, they brought Adelina to the police station and she was later admitted to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital.

The domestic worker died in the hospital at about 4.30pm, and the police arrested two suspects to assist in investigations into the case.

The suspects have been remanded until tomorrow.

Yesterday, Seberang Perai police chief ACP Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said police have also made another arrest in relation to the case, bringing the total number of arrests to three.