Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Malaysian couple charged in death of Cambodian maid

Malaysian couple charged in death of Cambodian maid

Malaysian couple charged in death of Cambodian maid

The employers of a Cambodian maid who died in Malaysia were charged on Friday with her murder, police said yesterday.

Penang state police chief Datuk Wira Ayub Yaakob said 24-year-old domestic worker Mey Sichan’s employers Soh Chew Tong, 43, and his wife, Chin Chui Ling, 40, were charged with murder under Section 302 of the Penal Code in a district court.

They face the mandatory death penalty by hanging if found guilty, he added.

“A plea was not recorded, and they will be tried in the high court for murder,” he said, adding that a date had not been fixed for their trial.

Three workers in the hardware shop that the couple owned had previously been questioned on the suspects’ treatment of Mey Sichan, and will testify as witnesses, said Datuk Yaakob.

The official medical report that reflected cause of death would also be presented in court, he said.

Mey Sichan had died in the early hours of March 31 of suspected starvation and physical abuse, police had earlier told the Post.

Multiple injuries had been on her body and she was found to be suffering from acute gastritis, police said.

Moeun Tola, head of the Community Legal Education Center’s labour project, yesterday welcomed news of the charges.

“On behalf of human rights NGOs, we congratulate Malaysia, which is finding justice for the Cambodian maid by charging her employers with murder,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen imposed a temporary ban on sending domestic workers to Malaysia in October after reports of abuse surfaced. 

At least nine Cambodian maids were reported as having died there in 2011.

Cambodian Working Group for Domestic Workers advocacy officer Natalie Drolet said the recent death reflected dated attitudes towards domestic workers despite their significant contributions to the global economy.

“Social and cultural attitudes towards domestic workers must change at the same time as legislative and policy changes to protect their rights,” she said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Cassandra Yeap and Sen David at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen’s China visit ‘a good opportunity’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit to Beijing on Sunday to discuss economic and trade issues presents a good opportunity for the Kingdom to strengthen Chinese ties and counter punitive measures by the West, an analyst says. The prime minister’s four-day official visit to

  • Close to the edge: Hair raising pictures from Kulen Mountain

    A new hair raising attraction on Kulen Mountain has finally opened to the public, with people flocking to the protruding cliff edge overlooking green mountainous forests to take photographs. The giant overhanging rock is situated in an area known as Mahendraparvata – an ancient city of

  • ‘Action needed to stop road deaths doubling by next year’

    Minister of Interior Sar Kheng has expressed concern over the rate of traffic accidents, saying the death toll will double by 2020 if no effective preventive measures were put in place. At least five people on average are killed on Cambodian roads every day. The interior

  • Cambodian rice to lose EU duty-free status

    The Cambodian rice sector is set to lose its duty-free export status to the EU today – its major rice market – after the European bloc decided to impose tariffs on rice from Cambodia and Myanmar to curb a surge in such imports. The decision will be