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

  • Virus tops 84 with new cases in S’ville

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and it highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • Two French tourists latest Covid-19 cases in Kingdom

    The Kingdom on Saturday saw two more cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the total to 53. While the majority of the previous cases are linked to a Muslim religious gathering in Malaysia, the latest cases involved two French tourists visiting Sihanoukville. The Ministry of Health said

  • Kingdom’s virus toll tops 84, Cambodians in Thailand rush home

    The Ministry of Health on Sunday night confirmed another 31 cases of coronavirus infections, bringing the Kingdom’s total to 84 and its highest daily tally. There have been no fatalities thus far. The latest cases were found in 29 French tourists and their two Cambodian tour guides

  • NBC calls for cashless payments

    The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC) has urged government ministries, financial institutions and the public to conduct cashless payments via electronic systems where possible to combat the spread of Covid-19. “To contribute to the prevention of Covid-19, the National Bank of Cambodia encourages financial institutions

  • CEO held for fraud in Siem Reap

    Over 200 individuals gathered in front of the Siem Reap Provincial Court last week to ask that Dim Suonnath, the CEO of a real estate company being held for fraud, take responsibility for compensating some 2,000 residents who invested with him. The request was denied. Suonnath responded

  • Ministry calls for home schooling

    Minister of Education, Youth and Sport, Hang Chuon Naron appealed to parents of students to provide home education in a proper environment and help them obtain more learning materials. The ministry also allowed schools to take a premature vacation after several people tested positive for