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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Domestic helper may be stuck in Malaysia

Domestic helper may be stuck in Malaysia

The mother of a domestic maid allegedly stranded in Malaysia has become the latest Cambodian claimant to file an official complaint to the Ministry of Interior over labour abuse in the country.

Em Sokhum said her 24-year-old daughter Chher Sophorn left to pursue work in Malaysia more than two years ago, with recruitment agency Philimore.

There, she believed she would earn up to $250 a month and would send money back to her family in Pursat province. The mother said it never came. When Sophorn didn’t return home last June, they grew even more worried.

On Friday, Sokhum, 60, made the journey to Phnom Penh  to lodge an official complaint with the Community Legal Centre at the Ministry of Interior.

“She has to work two jobs, at a bakery and at the house of an employer at the same time,” she said. 

Lerng Nghach, a maid who worked with Sophorn and who returned from Malaysia recently, said their employer would not allow both maids to leave at the same time.

Moeun Tola, head of CLEC’s Labour Program, said its Malaysian partner would intervene if they found she was forced to work. It is not the first complaint against the agency, he said.

Cambodia is in negotiations with Malaysia over a memorandum of understanding to protect emigrant workers.

Philimore would not comment on the complaint filed against it yesterday.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sen David at
Rosa Ellen contributed to this reporting



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