Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Government fires official who sent maid to Saudi Arabia



Government fires official who sent maid to Saudi Arabia

Ministry of Social Affairs Secretary of State Ahmad Yahya speaks to the press earlier this year. Yahya was recently removed from his position after illegally sending domestic labourers to Saudi Arabia.
Ministry of Social Affairs Secretary of State Ahmad Yahya speaks to the press earlier this year. Yahya was recently removed from his position after illegally sending domestic labourers to Saudi Arabia. Hong Menea

Government fires official who sent maid to Saudi Arabia

A prominent Muslim community leader under fire for his role in recruiting an underage maid to work in Saudi Arabia 12 years ago has been terminated from his government position, according to a copy of a royal decree released yesterday – the same day that a rival Muslim community leader posted claims that he had located a second maid who had been trafficked to the gulf country.

The decree, signed by Cambodia’s acting head of state and Senate President Say Chhum on Friday, does not give a reason for firing Ministry of Social Affairs Secretary of State Ahmad Yahya.

Yahya has been in the spotlight since it emerged that Sos Rotors, a 28-year-old Cham Muslim maid who was stranded in Saudi Arabia for 12 years, had been sent there by his recruiting company.

Yahya yesterday said he did not know why he was being fired. “I don’t want to find out [the reason],” Yahya said. “Find out for what? Whatever I did, I know myself. Between me and God, I know everything.”

He has repeatedly denied that he knew Rotors was underage at the time.

Rotors was repatriated to Cambodia last month with the help of Labour Ministry Secretary of State Othsman Hassan, who claimed on Facebook yesterday that he had found a second maid who had been sent to work in Saudi Arabia by Yahya’s now-defunct recruiting company.

In the post, Hassan claims that the maid’s name is Eng Pov and that she was recruited more than 13 years ago.

“I am working to contact the Ministry of Labour in Saudi Arabia to help secure her return to Cambodia and to sue the employer that exploits the labour of Cambodians,” he wrote.

Hassan has come under scrutiny for his own family’s involvement in a recruiting agency while he serves as a labour official. Reached yesterday, he said “I’m in a meeting” and hung up.

Minister of Social Affairs Touch Channy declined to comment on the firing, saying only that it was a private matter. Interior Ministry anti-trafficking official Chou Bun Eng said she had not heard of the second alleged maid but said that if the accusation was true, Yahya’s actions were likely illegal.

“During that period, Cambodia had no agreement with Saudi Arabia to send maids to work in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “So the company that recruited people to work in Saudi Arabia is illegal.”

However, Eng said that she cannot start an investigation into Yahya until a victim comes forward.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen says Kingdom not a 'satellite country'

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodia had sent diplomatic notes to various embassies demonstrating its stance and clarifying allegations that the Kingdom is a satellite country of China which will allow it exclusive access to the Ream Naval Base in Preah Sihanouk province. The response

  • Vast Prince Manor fun park opens to much fanfare in Kandal

    Chinese-owned Prince Culture and Development Co Ltd officially launched the $85 million Prince Manor entertainment centre in Kandal province on Wednesday. Prince Manor is located along National Road 1, 20km from the centre of Phnom Penh. It is the first major theme park project in Cambodia and

  • Angkor provides ‘valuable’ water storage

    The Apsara National Authority (ANA) has stored millions of cubic metres of water at reservoirs in the Angkor area after Cambodia experienced a series of rainstorms over the last few days. The storing of the water, besides serving temple conservation, will also be used to

  • Floods prompt evacuations in Kampong Speu

    Rain-induced floods and water flowing from Kampong Speu province have submerged the houses of 1,527 families living close to the Prek Thnot River in Spean Thma, Tien, Kong Noy and Roluos communes in Phnom Penh’s Dangkor district, according to data from local authorities. Spean Thma

  • Serving coffee with a side of robots

    The eye-catching glass building surrounded by greenery at the intersection of Streets 371 and 2002 in Phnom Penh’s Sen Sok district is more than just another coffee shop where you can while away a few hours. UrHobby House cafe is filled with robots and characters from

  • Cintri strike ends, workers’ contracts to be terminated

    CINTRI (Cambodia) Ltd rubbish collectors who have been on strike for the past 13 days agreed to return to work starting Wednesday evening after the company agreed to terminate their contracts at the end of January next year and provide seniority payments and other benefits to