Indonesian woman: Former employer injured my breasts

  • Nation
  • Monday, 10 Feb 2014

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat could not breastfeed her two sons due to injuries to her breasts inflicted by her ex-employer, the High Court heard on Monday.

Nirmala, 29, said she sustained scars as a result of the injuries caused by her former employer Yim Pek Ha, 46.

"I have two sons aged four and one year-old, but I could not breastfeed my children when they were babies due to the injuries inflicted by Yim on my breasts," she said.

Questioned by her lawyer M. Kavimani, Nirmala said she was tortured by Yim during her eight-month period working for the family. 

She was testifying in the civil suit filed against Yim and her husband Hii Ik Tiing, 48, for damages claiming that she suffered pain, humiliation, physical and mental anguish while working for the couple.

Nirmala was claiming special damages for medical expenses, loss of income,  transportation costs and other basic expenditures.

She was also claiming general damages for pain and suffering caused by Yim as well as for her skin condition.  

Yim was charged with four counts of causing grievous hurt on Nirmala at her apartment in Villa Putera on Jalan Tun Ismail in January, March and April 2004.

She was found guilty and sentenced to 18 years' jail by the Sessions Court on three counts of causing grievous hurt to Nirmala with a hot iron and hot water, but was acquitted on the fourth charge of causing hurt to the maid with a metal cup.

Yim appealed to the High Court, which reduced her jail term to 12 years.

The Court of Appeal upheld the decision and she is now serving her time in the Kajang Women's Prison.

Questioned by Kavimani, Nirmala said that Yim had written in a diary over the damage caused to clothes, cups, plates, shoes and other items which the maid was said to have caused with losses estimated about RM12,490.

Nirmala said she had signed in the diary saying that some acts were accidental.

However, when asked by the couple's lead counsel Chan Vy Sing, Nirmala agreed that the notes were made to remind her to be careful in her work.

Nirmala agreed that Yim had never taken any money for the damaged items.

Asked by Chan, Nirmala disagreed to his suggestion that she was  continuously making false statement in order to claim damages.

She denied that the injuries were self-inflicted.

She disagreed to Chan's suggestion that she did not run away from Yim's house, did not ask for help from people who had visited the couple or from the maid agency as she was not tortured. 

She agreed to Chan that her passport contained a wrong information on her year of birth.

The hearing before Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid continues Monday.

In her civil suit filed on Jan 2010, Nirmala named former boutique manager Yim and her husband Hii as defendants.

Nirmala claimed that Hii had neglected in his duty to ensure that she worked in a safe environment and stopping his wife from injuring her.

Among others, Nirmala is asking for RM28,545 for loss of income and RM10,616 for other expenditure.

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