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Media Release: More Vigilant and Caring Society to Stop Foreign Maid Abuse

Letter to The Star:

WAO calls for a More Vigilant and Caring Society to Protect Foreign Maids from Abuse

WOMEN’S Aid Organisation refers to Mah Weng Kwai’s letter Charges dismissed based on evidence (The Star, Feb 2) in response to Marina Mahathir’s article, Barbaric Act,in her weekly column “Musings”(The Star, Jan 17).

While the specific charge of wrongful confinement was dismissed, WAO notes that there were many disturbing aspects of the case which emerged at the trial.

Even the honest response of Ruminah when she agreed with the defence lawyer’s suggestion that she behaved like a robot and never questioned her employer’s orders raises some cause for concern and reflects the wholly unequal position between employer and maid. It is, therefore, incumbent upon every institution which is supposed to protect people like Ruminah that they should be more vigilant and live up to the principle of a caring nation.

WAO regrets Mah’s comment that Marina’s article was wholly emotional about women’s affairs. This is a condescending and patronising argument.

Furthermore the abuse of foreign maids is not just “women’s affairs” but also a human rights violation demanding the attention of every sector of society.

Ivy Josiah
Executive Secretary Women’s Aid Organisation

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