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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Maid’s living conditions just fine, boss says

Maid’s living conditions just fine, boss says


An "annoyed" Malaysian employer fought back yesterday against allegations made last week by the mother of her maid, who had claimed her daughter had been forced to take drugs and work without enough food.

Last Thursday, the Post reported that Im Meoun, 52, had filed a complaint with Adhoc officials in Kampong Chhnang province, alleging that her daughter, Phon Sophea, a 20-year-old domestic worker, worked from 4am until 10pm and was given only one meal a day.

Im Meoun also said that her daughter was forced to take drugs so “she has more power to work until night” and that her employer would not allow her to return home, forcing her to sign another contract to continue working.

After reading those allegations, the employer, Cynthia Lim, yesterday told Malaysian newspaper the New Straits Times that the claims were false.

“The truth is, she wakes up at 7:30 every morning, takes five meals a day and finishes her day with at least an hour in front of the television,” Lim told the English-language paper.

“The drugs given to her are by a doctor, but only when she is sick,” she added.

Lim also said that Phon Sophea had willingly signed an additional contract.

“She [Phon Sophea] agreed to renew the contract but wanted to go back to see her mother. We had already booked her flight home,” Lim told the New Straits Times.

However, Im Meoun stood by her statements yesterday.

“The employer is lying. My daughter was supposed to come home in February and then March and she hasn’t been able to,” Im Meoun said.

“I pity her working abroad.”

Im Meoun also said that she has not been able to contact her daughter since she filed the complaint last week.

Sam Chankea, a provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said the group was investigating the issue and planned to file a formal complaint with the Ministry of Interior.

According to the Times, Lim was scheduled to visit the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia yesterday to clarify the matter. Embassy officials could not be reached for comment.



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