Malaysiakini Letter

Domestic worker's death shows dire need for legislative reform

Muzaffar Syah Mallow  |  Published:  |  Modified:

LETTER | The death of Indonesian domestic worker, Adelina Lisao, 26, due to alleged abuse by her employers, has triggered outrage from many people in the country.

According to the media report, the victim had been forced to sleep in the car porch with her employer's dog for over a certain period, and also suffered bruises on multiple parts of her body.

But it not the first time we have heard about migrant or domestic worker abuse in happen in our country. Time after time, we have to endured reports on similar incidents, such as in the cases of Mey Sichan, Marni Anyim, Nirmala Bonat and others in recent years.

Serious steps need to be taken especially by the government to put an end to such problem before more innocent lives perish.

The most important steps is legislation, either by introducing new laws to ensure all parties take the welfare of their domestic foreign workers more seriously, or by reviewing existing law, like the Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1994.

Furthermore, a specialised agency or department under any relevant ministry should be created to monitor and regulate all laws which protect the rights, interests, and welfare of migrant workers.

This will make any tasks to be carry out by enforcement authorities much easier, and prevent any irresponsible employers from breaking any laws and treating their own workers badly or inhumanly.

Impromptu visit or surprise checks also need to be carried out by relevant authorities to employer premises in order to avoid any mistreatment cases of any foreign workers from happening again in the country.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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