Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysia couple spared death for starving Cambodian maid

Malaysia couple spared death for starving Cambodian maid

Soh Chew Tong  and Chin Chui Ling, photographed on their way to court in 2012, saw their sentences reduced from death penalty to 10 years imprisonment last week. Asia News Network
Soh Chew Tong and Chin Chui Ling, photographed on their way to court in 2012, saw their sentences reduced from death penalty to 10 years imprisonment last week. Asia News Network

Malaysia couple spared death for starving Cambodian maid

A Malaysian couple who were on death row for starving their Cambodian maid to death saw their sentences reduced to 10 years in prison last week, according to Malaysian rights organisations.

Chin Chui Ling and her husband, Soh Chew Tong, were initially convicted of homicide in 2013, but the appeal court handed them the death sentence for murder in 2015. On Thursday the Federal Court of Malaysia again reduced the charge to homicide.

Cambodian maid Mey Sichan went to Malaysia in 2011, and was found dead in 2012 weighing just 26.1 kilograms with marks of physical abuse.

Glorene Das, executive director of Malaysian human rights organisation Tenaganita, told reporters that, while her organisation did not support the death penalty, the 10-year sentence was unacceptable.

“There needs to be a stronger sentence for ending a human life,” she said.

Glorene added that memorandums of understanding to send workers to Malaysia weren’t sufficient protection as they did not hold perpetrators accountable.

Sally Alexander, also from Tenaganita, said in a message that she had visited the Cambodian Embassy a few weeks ago and found it had only a small room for temporary shelter for victims, and suggested it increase its capacity.

Cambodian Labour Minister Ith Samheng announced last week that the Kingdom would start sending maids to Malaysia again in June after a 2011 ban prompted by widespread abuses.

Naly Pilorge, of Cambodian human rights organisation Licadho, said that she was “confused and sickened” to hear about the reduction of the sentence given “the long suffering and terrible circumstances of the death of Mey Sichan”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Research key to Kanitha’s rep for expertise

    Sok Kanitha is used to weighing in on controversial issues using a confident approach that signals expertise and authority, and a recent video she made was no exception. Her “Episode 342: The History of NATO” video went live on January 16, 2023 and immediately shot to 30,000 likes and 3,500

  • Cambodia maintains 'Kun Khmer' stance despite Thailand’s boycott threat

    Cambodia has taken the position that it will use the term "Kun Khmer" to refer to the sport of kickboxing at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, and has removed the term Muay from all references to the sport. Despite strong reactions from the Thai

  • Knockout! Kun Khmer replaces ‘Muay’ for Phnom Penh Games

    Cambodia has decided to officially remove the word Muay from the programme of the 32nd Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2023 in May. “Kun Khmer” will instead be used to represent the Southeast Asian sport of kickboxing, in accordance with the wishes of the Cambodian people. Vath

  • Artificial insemination takes herd from 7 to 700

    Some farms breed local cows or even import bulls from a broad for the purpose of breeding heavier livestock for meat production. One Tbong Khnum farmer has found a more efficient way. Hout Leang employs artificial insemination to fertilise local cows. Thanks to imported “straws”

  • Chinese group tours return to Cambodia starting Feb 6

    Cambodia is among 20 countries selected by Beijing for a pilot programme allowing travel agencies to provide international group tours as well as flight and hotel packages to Chinese citizens, following a three-year ban. As the days tick down until the programme kicks off on February 6,

  • Capital-Poipet express rail project making headway

    The preliminary results of a feasibility study to upgrade the Phnom Penh-Poipet railway into Cambodia’s first express railway indicate that the project would cost more than $4 billion and would take around four years to complete. The study was carried out by China Road and