KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - – An Indonesian maid who was allegedly severely beaten by her Malaysian employers, and then bound and locked up in a toilet for two days, has died in hospital, police said Monday.
A Malaysian market vendor and his wife have been arrested over the abuse of 36-year-old Mautik Hani from Surabaya, in the latest in a series of cases that have prompted Indonesia to temporarily ban sending domestic workers here.
The neighbours are negotiating a deal on salaries and conditions aimed at preventing mistreatment of maids, who currently have no legal safeguards on their working conditions.
"I can confirm that Mautik Hani has died in hospital," district police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop told AFP.
"We have to wait for the hospital's report on her cause of death before deciding on the next course of action regarding her employers. They are still being detained," he added.
Hani was rescued from her employers' home a week ago. She was found by another Indonesian cleaner hired to replace her who noticed a foul smell coming from a locked bathroom.
Police said that when she was found she was tied up around her arms and legs, and was bruised all over her body. Among her injuries were a serious wound to the right leg that exposed the bone.
Local papers reported Hani had been abused by her employers almost daily during the two months she worked at their home.
One of Asia's largest importers of labour, Malaysia depends heavily on domestic workers, mainly from Indonesia, but has been criticised for not passing legislation to govern their rights and conditions.
In May, the government announced plans for new laws to protect domestic workers from sexual harassment, non-payment of wages and poor working conditions.
Indonesian maids typically work seven days a week for as little as 400 ringgit (113 dollars) a month.