Physical Abuse Stories

Nov 30th, 2008, in News, by

Two stories of physical abuse of Indonesian maids abroad, in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia.

Saudi Arabia

Nur, 38 years old, in April 2006 travelled to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to work as a housemaid in the employ of Abdullah M Argani. About a year later she gave birth to a daughter, and told that she had been raped by Abdullah’s nephew.

Abdullah and his family did not believe her and reported Nur to the police, and four days after having given birth she was imprisoned in the Ar Ruwais Womens’ Detention Centre in Jeddah, on grounds of sexual license. She was sentenced to two years jail and 2000 strokes of the cane.

Indonesian labour activists and the government attempted to intercede on her behalf and she eventually received only 50 lashes and was released in late October 2008.

While in prison Nur contacted her husband in Puger, Jember, East Java, and advised him to divorce her and marry again. She also attempted to give up her child to a family in Saudi Arabia, but her husband said he was willing to accept the child as his own.

Nur returned to Indonesia in early November 2008, along with baby Rani Dwi Lestari, now 18 months old, and lives again with her husband in Puger. kompas


In 2004 house maid Nirmala Bonat, from Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), was repeatedly tortured by her employer, Yim Pek Ha (40), in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, by means of a hot clothes iron and boiling water, causing disfiguring injuries to her face and body.

There is a somewhat graphic “before and after” image of Nirmala Bonat here.

On 27th November 2008 Nirwala received some good news – the trial of Yim Pek Ha had concluded with a conviction and a severe sentence of 18 years imprisonment – however it appears Yim Pek Ha will be able to serve her sentence with only home-detention. suaramerdeka

Nirwala has now resumed a normal life in Kupang, working for PT Asuransi Bumi Putra. kompas

69 Comments on “Physical Abuse Stories”

  1. Indian says:

    Thanks for clarifying fullmoonflower, I am not Hindu, I am Christian, bottom line is that unskilled labor from South East asia must be stopped. Arab countries can follow the model of what Europe and North America are doing, they don’t need maids coming in from Indonesia or any country in large numbers, people do most of the cleaning and stuff themselves, or hire professional cleaners.

    I don’t see thousands of Indonesian maids in Australia or Canada.

    The whole concept of a nation exporting unskilled labor abroad, only tends to bring in problems, and gives a bad impression about Indonesians to the locals, and vice versa. You don’t see many skilled doctors, engineers lawyers, or semi skilled professionals like nurses constantly complaining or getting killed. Its the Maids that always seem to be in the news.

    Bottom line is, Indonesia should start sending skilled professionals into developed nations where there are skilled shortages , similar to what the Philippines is doing.

  2. fullmoonflower says:

    @ migs

    In fact, about 70% of persians in iran hates the arabs.

    I think that was happened few years ago, after 20th century (1901 to present) ..

    But what I talked about was my anchestor who were living hundreds years ago, from 6th century until 15th century…

    Well it’s start form my anchestor from Quraisy ethnic group…
    Because of trading journeys and marriages, then they had many descendants in Persia and Gujarat. In about 1500’s one of them went to Champa and had sons there too from local wife, then he went to Java, brought his Champa family with him, and then his sons married to Javanese.. and so on… and so on… long story..

    Anyway, when I told some kyais about who my achestor is, they always said : “No wonder you are a strong, both mentally and physically, and your brothers too.. because you all are Quraisyian descendants…!”
    hahahaha… 😆

    Don’t know that was a praise or mockery.. but I thought that was just funny.. 🙂


  3. fullmoonflower says:

    @ Indian

    Your very welcome.. 🙂

    Indonesia should start sending skilled professionals into developed nations where there are skilled shortages

    Yes, you are right.
    Actually, there are many Indonesian professionals who work in overseas too. I have some friends who work in UK, they’ve been master degree and PhD. But maybe their population is not as much as Indonesian maids and servants.

    Anyway, this is still such of a dillema here, as our government still doesn’t give priority to education. Moreover they’ll legalize RUU Badan Hukum Pendidikan, which is mean that they will treat public universities as such of a company.
    It means that there are no more opportunity for clever kids of poor people to be good educated.
    The opportunity is only for rich people’s kids and they are not always clever. Even some of them are spoilt, dumb, and lazy…

    So, how can we send the educated ones and professionals to work to overseas?

    Aduh… so sad if I think about it. Tragic…

  4. Taxpayer says:

    Yet another typical, going nowhere conversation which is splattered throughout with innuendo and poor judgment.

    The root problem is simple……Indonesians are cheap! Even the ones who have extra money to spend will be damned to pay a bill if they can get someone else to do it (which usually occurs because when the bill comes they obnoxiously refuse to make any physical move to their wallets).

    Therefore…..maids being abused abroad is no wonder because they wouldn’t be working abroad if Indonesian’s paid them a decent wage for the same work here in INDONESIA! But, alas, Indonesians love to shoot their mouths but never can provide any solutions or recognize that the root blame may actually be their own.

    Is 500000Rp ($50USD) REALLY a comparable wage to pay someone who works 12 hrs a day and is trusted with your home and possessions?

    And how religion can be brought into a human abuse conversation is beyond me. Especially when the religion being used is the same one used in Saudi Arabia and Malaysia where these abuses are occurring. WHERE IS THE LOGIC IN THAT?

    A person being uneducated, unfamiliar, or not in the “INDONESIA VIP” loop does not give any other person the right to take advantage of them, manipulate them and/or physically and mentally abuse them.

    If that is one’s argument than you are a disgusting human being who has not one iota of compassion, empathy or sympathy.

    This “abusing” of maids seems to be an Asian issue as it mainly occurs in China, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam, etc. And it seems to always occur from one Asian to employer to one Asian employee.

    It would seem to me that perhaps, certain Asians should look in the mirror and readjust their attitudes. You know “Do a check-up from the neck-up”. This is just symbolic of the “Holier-than-thou, over bloated and entitled attitudes many Asians carry themselves with.

    As like every other problem that happens here, this is an Indonesian problem, caused and exacerbated by Indonesians and can only be solved by Indonesians.

    As for me, I pay my Server 500,000Rp a month to come 1 time a week. Which i translate to $25USD per hour!


  5. Taxpayer says:

    Readjustment……My math sucks

    About $10 per hour cuz’ she only is here 1hr per week


  6. iCondEmnAbuSe says:

    Have you ever seen the face of Nirmala Bonat on the before and after picture??
    Oh my GOD. This is so unfair!! Nobody in this world, be it christian, bhuddist, islam, or any other religion you belong, deserves this kind of treatment.

    If what happened to Nur also happened to your wife, or any female members of your family, would you accept the reason of DIEGO for not winning the case?

    “Of course Nur was guilty, it was her fault (failed to provide 4 witnesses). So it was just a slander. She should’ve been more prepared before letting herself get raped, by always having 4 moslems, preferrably, arab friends around to watch the raping. It should serve a lesson to her, to always befriend the arabs, instead of the unworthy phillipines and south asians (their testimony wouldn’t count).

    Crazy person you are!!!People should not hurt people!!!
    Everybody deserves respect even if you are poor, rich, or members of the Elite people.

    This is always the problem, people who are working hard for the family are always
    maltreated and accused of the mistakes that they are not doing. They have nothing to do because they are poor and they need money. They are too weak (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) to fight. They do not have the power and yet they are dragged down even more by those mean and stupid people.

    Please think twice or many times before you hurt other people especially your helpers. They are working to earn a living for their family not to get tons of bruises and abuses from other people!!

    This is INJUSTICE!!!!!

  7. Deseray Sklenchar says:

    Wow it amazes me how much people hate one another. People abuse maybe even kill people over the littlest things in life. It brings tears to my eyes when I hear that someone is being abused or have just died. The way people hate one another is so wrong and cruel. Why not just let them be their selves and live a happy life like their doing, is that so hard to ask for? To them it is.

  8. observato says:

    Bottom line is, Indonesia should start sending skilled professionals into developed nations where there are skilled shortages , similar to what the Philippines is doing.

    Thanks for the your generous advice. This miserable workers issue is huge problem already. They may not that unskilled, some of them may be even graduated from a college, I dont know the exact statistics. They are rather ‘brave’ persons to sail away from their home for better luck. It may give impression Indonesia is exporting unskilled workers, but you may aware poverty is common problem for many countries, some may just keep poor people inside while they are busy investing on nuclear weaponry. The Indonesian workers outside there, how unskilled they are, are working, that is better than stay home and being poor.

    ‘Unskilled workers’ are not only from Indonesia and Indonesia do sends its professionals to developed country as well. It can be traced back to when Soeharto banned Indonesian students in Europe from coming back home due to their association to the communist party. We are not very good on software industry, however, aeronautics professionals as well as those of other fields are sent abroad yearly, a bit caused by monetary crisis at 1998. To name a few, Prabowo was treated well as a military advisor for Jordanian Kingdom, and last minute, we just sent Obama.

    The problem is not all about people being unskilled or exported. All goverments should provide clear regulations and law enforcement on employment issues. In case of Saudi, sharia must be ‘extended’ to cover such issues, so the workers got clear contract in their employment, protected by law etc. But before such progress, we may export our reformasi to upgrade Saudi Monarch first.


    What power does the abuser have over the abused?How is a person able to use their power to physically abuse the other person?

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