A 21-year old Indonesian domestic worker who was allegedly abused by her employers in Penang died on Sunday evening (Feb 11).
The day before her death, Adelina – the name she identified by, was seen sitting on her employer’s car porch next to their Rottweiler.
She appeared malnourished, and was covered with wounds on her arms and legs and bruises on her face. Her legs also appeared burnt with pus leaking out.
She was too afraid to speak to anyone, and the dog beside her barked at rescuers attempting to save her.
She was rescued by the police that same day after a report was lodged by a neighbour to the Member of Parliament in the area.
The police sent her to the Bukit Mertajam Hospital in Penang, where she unfortunately passed away the next day.
Police reports indicated they were unable to record Adelina’s statement while she was still alive as she was afraid to speak.
Her employer and her brother are currently being investigated for murder.
Neighbours who spoke to the media stated that Adelina, who had been employed for the past 2 years, had been made to sleep outdoors on her employer’s car porch for over a month, right beside their pet dog.
They also revealed that they often heard the employer scolding her loudly from inside the house.
Initial investigations have revealed the burns on her leg were chemical burns.
The employer has claimed that the burns occurred because Adelina defecated in the kitchen’s drainage hole and caused it to become clogged.
The employer then bought a strong chemical for her to clean it, which the maid somehow spilled on herself.
Apart from doubting the veracity of this claim, one ought to first question what drove the maid to resort to defecating in the kitchen drainage hole to begin with.
The employer and her family completely denied abusing the maid, but in contradictory fashion admitted to “slapping the maid once or twice”.
The sheer scale of lack of humanity and mistreatment would disgust most of us, not least the blatant dishonesty of the employers of the maid even after she passed on.
Singaporeans are reminded that, even if we are unlikely to commit such acts ourselves, to keep an eye out for others close to us, such as our peers or neighbours.
The neighbours of the abusive household allegedly knew that the employer was abusing the maid for over two years, and saw the maid sleeping outdoors beside a dog for over a month.
Yet, they did not do anything. Leading to a young girl to become shrouded in fear, abuse, injuries, and eventually succumbing to all these and dying.
Let us at the very least try our best to show empathy to fellow human beings, and report cases of abuse if we suspect such things going on.
Foreign Domestic Worker helpline
Report concerns over FDW’s well-being, e.g. FDW’s safety, abuse, salary, etc.
1800 339 5505 (local callers, weekday only)