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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Distressed maid set to return

Distressed maid set to return

A woman who reportedly said she was being tortured and forcibly detained by her employer in Kuala Lumpur during a phone call has been located and will be sent back to Cambodia next week, officials from the Malaysian embassy said yesterday.

Kampuchea Thmey newspaper reported on March 18 that the woman had made a random call to a university student in Phnom Penh pleading her to ask the Cambodian government to help her escape from her employer.

In a statement issued yesterday, the Malaysian embassy said they had taken swift action to locate the woman and had sent officials in Malaysia to her residence to provide essential assistance.

“The embassy contacted the woman through the phone number posted in the paper and talked to a woman who expressed that [she was] abused and suffered,” the statement said.

The statement also promised the Malaysian embassy would work closely with the Cambodian government and the other relevant partners to protect the Cambodian workers both in Cambodia and Malaysia.

I try to talk to her, but I cannot because her boss does not allow her to leave home.

Raja Saiful Ridzuwan, deputy chief of mission at the Malaysian embassy, yesterday declined to identify the woman or the company allegedly detaining her, but said these details would be available when she returned next week.
Yet another complaint alleging a Cambodian domestic worker in Malaysia was being tortured and illegally detained was filed with the rights group Adhoc yesterday.

Men Thorn, 36, said yesterday she filed a complaint against the AP Sentosa Training Centre with local rights group Adhoc after receiving a distressing phone call from her sister Men Syna’s neighbour in Malaysia, who said her sibling was being abused.

“I got the call from my sister’s neighbour, who my sister needed help from to reach me so that I could help intervene from Cambodia to release her from Malaysia because the employer tortures and detains her and doesn’t allow her to talk with anyone nearby,” she said.

The neighbour, an 18-year-old Cambodian woman who also works at a factory in Malaysia and asked only to be identified as Vy said she was afraid that if Men Syna’s boss caught her seeking help from outsiders that he would further punish her.

“I try to talk to her, but I cannot because her boss does not allow her to leave home or talk to anyone,” she said.

Koy Kuong, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said yesterday that the government would not be careless with this case.

“We will take measures immediately in cases [where] we get information or a letter from the family member, but until now I haven’t got any information about this case yet,” he said. additional reporting by Khuon Leakhana

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