Abused Cambodian maids return home after bad experience in Malaysia


PHNOM PENH, Oct 6 (The Phnom Penh Post/ANN): The Cambodian embassy in Malaysia and an NGO recently helped return two housemaids to the Kingdom after one alleged she was denied her salary for years and the other claimed she was consistently abused and beaten by their employer.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Koy Kuong told The Post on Monday (Oct 5) that due to the intervention from the embassy and Phnom Penh-based NGO Chab Dai Coalition, Nguon Van, 31, and El Mary, 32, were safely repatriated to the Kingdom on Sunday evening.

Kuong said: “By this time, they would have safely reached their respective homes.”

A press release obtained by The Post on Monday said Van lived in Kandieng commune, in Pursat province’s Kandieng district, before legally migrating to work as a housemaid for someone named Wing Sai Loong in Kuala Lumpur through a company called CECH in 2010.

“Wanting to return to Cambodia, Van ran away from her employer and arrived at the embassy on Sept 21.

“The embassy facilitated a claim for unpaid salaries of RM38,800 (US$9,340) and asked the employer to prepare the relevant documents to the immigration department so that she could return to Cambodia, ” it said.

The embassy provided her with accommodation and food and escorted her to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport for her return flight.

The press release also said Mary, who lives in the capital’s Chroy Changvar district, secured an illegal job as a housemaid in Bentong district in the State of Pahang, in March 2018 through a broker named Hasanas.

In Malaysia, Mary was told by her employer to do housework and help sell clothes, with no time to rest and little to eat.

She ran away from her employer’s house on May 2 this year after being beaten daily. She suffered bruises all over her legs and hands and lost two front teeth after allegedly being hit by her employer, the press release said.

On her way to the embassy, she met the head of a religious centre, Mohamad Azam Shah Aziz, and asked for his help. She was taken to the local police station to file a complaint. Her employer was later arrested and charged with “Use of forced labour” and is currently on trial, the press release said.

It said after receiving help from Mohamad, she was allowed to stay in a government centre.

As for her salary and other compensation, the Malaysian authorities will follow the court’s decision after the trial ends. It is set to begin on Nov 25.

The Chab Dai Coalition assisted Mary by helping pay for her flight ticket back home. - The Phnom Penh Post/Asian News Network

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