Malaysian Couple Charged With Murder of Indonesian Maid

Posted June 16th, 2011 at 4:00 am (UTC-5)
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Malaysian police have filed murder charges against a Kuala Lumpur couple whose 26-year-old Indonesian maid was declared dead at a Kuala Lumpur hospital this month.

The death came less than a week after Indonesia agreed to end a two-year ban on allowing its citizens to work as maids in Malaysia because of reported abuse cases.

A lawyer confirmed Thursday that Fong Kong Meng, 55, and his Cantonese-speaking wife, Teoh Ching Yen, 53, had been charged with murder a day earlier in magistrate's court.

The maid, who had been working for the couple since July 2010, reportedly had injuries to her body, forehead and hands when she was pronounced dead on June 5.

Indonesia banned its nationals from going to Malaysia to work as maids in 2009 following a series of cases of physical abuse by Malaysian employers. Malaysia is one of Asia's largest importers of domestic workers, with many of them continuing to come from Indonesia even while the ban was in place.

Under an agreement announced at the end of May, 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.