An Indonesian domestic worker was paid over RM100,000 in 12 years of unpaid wages following a long-drawn mediation between her Tan Sri employer and the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
However, there is no indication if the employer will face charges over the alleged forced labour offences.
The 43-year-old’s case ticked several boxes of forced labour elements such as withholding of wages, assault, passport retention, restriction of movement and abusive working hours.
While the financial aspect of the case has been settled, there is no indication as to whether or not the employer will face any charges over the alleged forced labour offences.
A source from the Indonesian Embassy explained to Malaysiakini that they always acted based on the priorities of the victims and “in her case, she wanted to return home with her unpaid wages”.
“If we filed an Anti-Trafficking in Persons Report with the Police, there is no guarantee that she will receive her back wages or return home anytime soon,” the embassy source explained.
For now, the worker hailing from Malang in East Java said that she is just happy to be returning home soon and plans to start a business herself.
“I am overjoyed to finally be able to go home and I am grateful to my embassy for helping me claim my outstanding wages from my employer. I also plan to employ some workers to start farming vegetables on my parents’ plot of land and when I hire workers, I will treat them fairly, with days off and decent working hours,” she said.
ICYMI, her case came to light in December last year after almost one year since she sought refuge at the Indonesian Embassy.
The petite domestic worker, who is less than 1.5m tall, said she tolerated 12 years of constant berating, perpetual physical fatigue, and was even slapped by her employer on an occasion when she misplaced a medicinal tablet.
At the time, she was not allowed to have a phone and it was only after two years into her employment at the residence that she managed to call home using a borrowed phone.
There was rarely any personal time or rest time for her, and for the first seven years, she managed chores for the family of six adults and two infants in a large five-bedroom house, alone.