Indian Malaysian jailed for human trafficking
Kuala Lumpur: An ethnic Indian in Malaysia has been sentenced to eight years in jail for human trafficking and abusing his Indonesian maid, three months
after his wife was jailed for scalding the woman with a hot iron, a news report said.
A Vealu, a 42-year-old grass-cutting contractor, was convicted of exploiting a 26-year-old Win Farida, a maid from East Java, who was found with burn injuries after she was abandoned by Vealu and his wife Poongavanam last year.
Vealu and Poongavanam were jointly charged under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act which carries the maximum 20 years' jail sentence and fine.
Vealu has not yet been jailed pending his appeal, the New Straits Times said yesterday.
Poongavanam is currently serving an eight year jail
sentence after she was found guilty of grievously hurting
Faridaa with a hot iron in September last year, the daily
A district court in northern Penang state passed the
verdict on Friday. Judge Roslan said Vealu's claims that he
was forced by his wife Poongavanam to abandon the maid after
hurting her was just an afterthought.
He said Vealu had also never rebutted the maid's
testimony of sexual abuse during the defence stage.
The maid, who was discovered by a roadside, had also
accused Vealu of repeatedly raping her.
Malaysia relies heavily on foreign workers in its
plantation, construction and many other sectors. It also relies Indonesia, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and the
Philippines for house maids as Malaysians are not keen to take
up these jobs.
However, cases of maid abuse has been frequent. Last
year, Indonesia banned its maids from working in Malaysia
after a case of maid abuse surfaced.
Earlier this week, Tenaganita, a migrant labour
activist group, urged Cambodia to stop sending maids, after
cases of maid abuse and overwork.
The call followed news reports on the recent death of
one maid -- though police say she was not abused and died of
pneumonitis -- and the alleged abuse of another, including
having her head shaved bald.
Tenaganita said in a statement that many of the Cambodian
maids remain "in a condition of forced labour with practices
of modern day slavery."