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Opinion

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 | MYT 12:00 AM

We should not just stand by and watch

I READ with great concern the report on the death of an Indonesian maid in Bukit Mertajam last weekend, “Maid forced to sleep outside dies” (The Star, Feb 12). The incident reminds us of the stark reality faced by all domestic migrant helpers not only in Malaysia but in other countries as well.

The extremely sad case of Adelina who was only 21 years old shows that some Malaysians lack sympathy and love for another human being. The vulnerability of a domestic maid working for low wages does not give employers any right to subject them to extreme workloads.

I have personally seen maids in my neighbourhood being instructed, or rather “forced”, to climb onto the roof of the employer’s house to clean the roof/tiles without any safety tools or equipment.

I have also seen maids washing their employer’s cars (two or more) and, in some instances, lorries! Many of them often start their day at 5am or earlier and continue working into the night.

It is an open secret that Malaysian employers often do not provide enough food for their maids and some also withhold their salaries.

Many of us would have heard accounts of maids being slapped, beaten and overloaded with work not related to household chores and yet we fail to take corrective measures.

We sincerely hope the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies does not deal with those employers found guilty of abusing its maids. On a similar note, I also hope that Malaysians will be more caring and show respect to their fellow human beings.

SHASHI KUMAR NAGESVARAN

Shah Alam