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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Maid’s parents demand answers

Maid’s parents demand answers

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Tuy Pep, the mother of an 18-year-old maid who died in Malaysia, pleads with national police yesterday to re-investigate her daughter’s death.

The parents of a young maid who died in Malaysia last month will today receive their daughter’s remains, after requesting yesterday that the government conduct further investigations into her death because they believed she had endured psychological abuse from her employer.

Tuy Pep, the mother of 18-year-old Pov Nich, cried at the National Police headquarters yesterday.

She said she did not believe a report from the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia that her daughter’s death had resulted from drinking medicine, and demanded US$10,000 in compensation from the recruitment firm Human Power Company.

“The report is wrong. I don’t believe that my daughter did that. Why would she kill herself? Where did she get the medicine from?” she said, responding to an unidentified official’s suggestion that it had been intentional.

“I really cannot accept the result.”

Tuy Pep said she had not heard from her daughter since she left for Malaysia more than two months ago.

“The company has to pay me $10,000 in compensation,” she said, adding that she wished to see the official report into the death.

“I think she was under pressure that affected her mind or she was abused by her boss, and that’s why she decided to [drink medicine].”

Pov Nich, or Koy Vanna – the name she used to register with the company – died on October 24.

An official yesterday expressed uncertainty about the cause of Pov Nich’s death.

“We don’t know why she did that [drank the medicine] or whether she did that or not: that is the questiont we need to investigate in this case,” Chiv Phally, deputy director of the anti-human trafficking and juvenile protection department at the Interior Ministry, said.

Chiv Phally said his department would work with the Labour Ministry to find the cause of Pov Nich’s death, contact the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia and request that Malaysian police officials re-investigate the case.

“I want to find justice and the reason for you [Tuy Pep],” he said.

“I will check all the reports and examinations that were sent by the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see whether, or why, she drank the medicine.”

Chea Sophal, a representative of Human Power Company, said yesterday the company was relying on the report and examinations by doctors and the Cambodian embassy in Malaysia.

“We don’t know the real reason why the girl died, but we depend on the report of the embassy and the examination of the doctors,” he said. “We are just a company to find the job for the workers.”

Chea Sophal added that Pov Nich’s death had been an accident.

Yesterday, Tuy Pep demanded four million riel ($991) from the company for her daughter’s funeral. The company eventually agreed to pay after initially offering only two million riel ($496).

An Bunhak, president of the Association of Cambod-ian Recruitment Agencies, told the Post on Monday that if the company had failed to properly investigate the circumstances surrounding Pov Nich’s death, action would be taken.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Mu Sochua said yesterday she would send the report to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia and ask the Labour Ministry to investigate Pov Nich’s death.

“The company has to be responsible for workers. They cannot say that the worker has already died, so it’s over,” Mu Sochua said.

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