Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Returnee maid takes own life




Returnee maid takes own life

A woman reads advertisements for maids outside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. A maid who returned from Malaysia with signs of mental illness after suffering abuse there took her own life on Sunday.
A woman reads advertisements for maids outside a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur. A maid who returned from Malaysia with signs of mental illness after suffering abuse there took her own life on Sunday. AFP

Returnee maid takes own life

A Tbong Khmum woman, whose family said she had been plagued by major personality changes and signs of mental illness since returning from working as a maid in Malaysia, hanged herself with a hammock cord in her house Sunday afternoon.

Ngor Srey Lim, 30, went to Malaysia in 2008. When she returned in April, her parents hardly recognised their daughter, said Ou Sotheary, the police chief in Kor commune, where the victim lived.

“Her parents did not dare to let her work or leave her at home alone because she did not understand when people spoke to her,” Chhem Samnang, the Kor commune chief said in a phone interview.

Srey Lim’s parents had to leave the house to do some farm work on Sunday. They returned to see that their daughter had killed herself in the bathroom. The parents could not be reached yesterday.

According to human rights groups, many Cambodian women who go to work in Malaysia come back with post-traumatic stress disorder or other mental problems as a result of physical, emotional and sexual abuse.

“Malaysia has history of treating migrant workers poorly,” said Moeun Tola, head of the labour program at the Community Legal Education Centre. “These women continue to suffer in silence.”

Despite a 2011 ban on sending migrant workers to Malaysia, almost 8,000 women continue to work as maids there, according to recent government data. Many of them, such as Srey Lim, go there illegally through Vietnam.

According to rights group Adhoc, women who choose to work as maids in Malaysia predominantly come from poor farming families and have no one to turn to for help.

MOST VIEWED

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,

  • First ‘mobile kitchen’ in Cambodia enters service

    A catering company recently rolled out Cambodia’s first “mobile kitchen” – a $50,000 container capable of serving up to 200 people at a time. The kitchen is the brainchild of Seng Hok Heng Catering Services. At 4.4m-high, 6.8m-long and 2.4m-wide (expandable to 6.8m), the kitchen is equipped

  • Kingdom, China rebut basis for US sanctions

    The Council for the Development of Cambodia, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, and Tianjin Union Investment Development Group Co Ltd (Tianjin) have responded to US sanctions on Union Development Group Co Ltd (UDG), a Chinese-owned company currently developing the sprawling $3.8 billion Dara

  • Influenza breaks out in eight provinces

    Nearly 600 people have been infected with influenza in eight provinces in the past month, Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said. The ministry is advising extreme caution. A report released by Vandine on Saturday said the Ministry of Health observed transmissions of influenza between August 15