Feature

Crackdown on maid abuse

The week's news at a glance.

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysians who have beaten or raped their maids will be barred for life from hiring domestic help, the government announced this week. Horror stories of sexual and physical abuse of foreign maids have dominated Malaysian headlines in recent weeks. One Indonesian girl was forced by her employer to swallow a cockroach as punishment for leaving the floor dirty; another was kept as a sex slave for her boss and his business partners. Some 200,000 foreigners, mostly Indonesians, work in domestic service in Malaysia, and Indonesia recently threatened to bar its citizens from working there unless Malaysia took steps to protect them. Immigration Director Datuk Mohd Jamal Kamdi said his ministry would create a blacklist of abusive employers. “We will also conduct checks in their houses from time to time,” he said, “to ensure they do not have maids.”

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