3 Malaysians held in death of Indonesian maid

KUALA LUMPUR (AP) – Three members of a Malaysian family have been detained in the death of their Indonesian maid, who suffered injuries and was forced to sleep outside on a porch with the family’s dog, police said yesterday.

The alleged maid abuse prompted calls by activists and lawmakers for better laws to safeguard migrant workers.

Lawmaker Steven Sim said his office received information from concerned neighbours about the possible abuse of 26-year-old Adelina Lisao on Saturday and went to investigate, but her employer refused to cooperate.

After they lodged a complaint with police, the employer brought Lisao to the police station and she was then hospitalised but died on Sunday, Sim said.

Indonesian house maid Adelina Lisao sits on the porch in Bukit Mertajam, near Penang, Malaysia, February 10. – AP

District Police Chief Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid said there were bruises on Lisao’s head and face, and infected wounds on her hand and legs.

He said a post-mortem found she died of multiple organ failure due to anaemia.

Police detained two siblings in the family on Sunday. Their 60-year-old mother was subsequently detained yesterday following the autopsy results, and all three will be investigated for possible murder, Nik Ros Azhan said.

A picture of Lisao sleeping on a torn mat outside the house was published in local media. In another picture, she was lying on the bare floor with her face covered with a blanket.