Foreign Maid Dies in Malaysia, Abuse Suspected

Posted June 6th, 2011 at 6:20 am (UTC-5)
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Malaysia's state news agency is reporting the death of a foreign maid who is believed to have been abused by her employers.

The Bernama news agency reported Monday that the maid, who was identified only as coming from a neighboring country, died in a Kuala Lumpur hospital Sunday. The death comes less than a week after Indonesia agreed to end a two-year ban on allowing maids to work in Malaysia because of reported abuse cases.

Bernama said the maid who died Sunday had injuries to her forehead and arms as well as scratch marks on her back. It quoted police saying an autopsy also found old wounds on her body.

The agency said the victim was brought to the hospital by a married couple in their 50s. It said the couple has been detained by police and will be remanded until June 11.

Malaysia is one of Asia's largest importers of domestic workers, with many of them coming from Indonesia even while the ban was in place.

Under an agreement announced last week, the maids will be allowed to retain their passports instead of surrendering them to their employers. Workers also will be guaranteed the right to communicate with relatives and Indonesian authorities.