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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Family told to collect daughter’s remains by recruitment agency

Family told to collect daughter’s remains by recruitment agency

Another family has been asked to come and retrieve the remains of their dead daughter from a labour recruitment firm after she passed away in Malaysia, and they claim the agency that sent her threatened not to return her ashes if the family pursued legal action.

The mother of 18-year-old Pov Sreynich, from Battambang province’s Mong Russey district, said staff from Human Power Co. had called the day after her daughter died in Malaysia on October 25 and asked her to collect her child’s cremated remains.

“My daughter went to work as a maid in Malaysia for more than two months with the Human Power Company, but unfortunately she passed away,” the mother said, adding that she would travel to Phnom Penh today to collect the ashes.

Last week, the Post revealed that another family had been asked by a labour firm to collect the remains of their dead daughter, a few days after the Cambodian embassy in Kuala Lumpur reported that at least nine domestic workers had died in Malaysia this year.

Korng Pov, the deceased woman’s 53-year-old father, said he did not believe the company’s assessment that his daughter had died from taking too much medicine after contracting a fever.

“I don’t think my daughter died because of this kind of disease, because she never got sick. I think she was abused by her house owner,” he said.

Korng Pov said that if Human Power failed to pay compensation as promised, he would file a complaint to authorities, despite the company’s threat not to repatriate her ashes.

A staff member from Human Power said the agency had co-operated with the Ministry of Labour and the embassy and had filed relevant documents to them as required by law.

An Bunhak, president of the Association of Cambodian Recruitment Agencies, said that if the company had done its best to protect the dead girl, it would not be punished, but if it had failed to properly investigate, action would be taken.

“It is our concern when we know that our people are dead in Malaysia; that’s why we try to ask the embassy for the proper examination and the police report,” An Bunhak said.

If Human Power was found to have acted negligently, it would be blacklisted, he said.

Oum Mean, secretary of state at the Ministry of Labour, and officials from the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia could not be reached for comment.



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