Friday, May 29, 2009

Migrant worker's body flown home (The Jakarta Post, 29/5/200()

Migrant worker's body flown home

Suherdjoko and Agus Maryono , The Jakarta Post , Kendal, Purwokerto | Fri, 05/29/2009 11:50 AM |

The body of a migrant worker working in Malaysia has been sent home to Kendal, Central Java, and buried on Wednesday.

Kartini, 33, is believed to have died from physical abuse suffered at the hands of her employers.

She is survived by her husband, Sampur, 35, and two children, Setyowati, 13, and M. Nurochim, 11.

Sampur said he received news of Kartini's death on May 23 from her recruitment agency, which said a female migrant worker from Surkonto Wetan village, Pageruyung district in Kendal, working in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia, was found dead at her employers' home.

Kartini had worked for a new employer for only two months, having left for Malaysia in 2007. It is suspected she was beaten to death by her employer's wife and children.

Family members who opened the casket said they saw bruises on her forehead, right eye and back, similar to those sustained from being hit with hard objects.

"We demand the perpetrators be stiffly punished," Sampur said.

Consulate secretary at the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Susapto Anggoro Broto, accompanied Kartini's body home.

"We're working with the Malaysian police on the case," he said.

The police have detained the wife and children of Kartini's employer and named them suspects.

Kartini's family received Rp 45 million (US$4,300) in compensation - Rp 15 million from recruitment agency PT Sekar Tanjung Lestari, Rp 1 million from the Central Java administration, and Rp 27.15 million in back pay.

Meanwhile Susapto said 328 Indonesians, mostly migrant workers, in Malaysia were at risk of being sentenced to death for various crimes.

"They are involved in drug-related cases, premeditated murder and other serious crimes," he said Thursday during a seminar themed "Advocating problematic Indonesian migrant workers overseas", held at Jenderal Soedirman University's Law School.

He added the embassy would do its best to help them, by providing lawyers and through government-level approaches.

The embassy has formed a task force to protect migrant workers.

Susapto said the chances for lenient sentences were good because of Malaysia's five-level court system.

"However, the legal process can be quite long," he said, adding the embassy handled 1,000 cases a year, ranging from unpaid salaries and ill treatment, to sexual harassment and physical abuse.

"We get up to four reports a day.

"In 2008, we resolved 854 cases and salvaged Rp 3.5 billion in unpaid migrant workers' salaries."

He added the large amount of cases stemmed from the huge number of Indonesian migrants, including illegal ones.

Data from the Malaysian immigration office lists 1.2 million foreigners, 800,000 of them illegal.

Eighty percent of foreigners in Malaysia are Indonesian, most of whom work in the agricultural, construction and industrial sectors as manual laborers, and as domestic workers.

Source: The Jakarta Post

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