Family members weep as the coffin carrying the body of Adelina Jemira Sau arrives at El Tari Airport in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, on Saturday (17/02). (Antara Photo/Kornelis Kaha)

Body of Murdered Indonesian Maid Arrives Home From Malaysia


FEBRUARY 18, 2018

Jakarta. The Indonesian government has handed over the body of Adelina Jemira Sau, a 21-year-old Indonesian maid who was allegedly murdered by her employers in Malaysia, to her family in East Nusa Tenggara on Saturday (17/02), an official said.

Adelina died at Bukit Martajam hospital in Penang, Malaysia, on Feb.11, a day after she was rescued by neighbors and police from the house where she was employed as a helper.


For two months before she was rescued, Adelina was forced to sleep outside with her employers’ pet dog. Her condition was critical when she arrived at the hospital and she died the next day.

Malaysian authorities have arrested three persons of interest — including her employers — suspected of abusing Adelina leading to her death.

"The post-mortem examination revealed the cause of death is multi-organ failure and anemia [possible neglect]," the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry's citizen protection and legal aid director Lalu Muhammad Iqbal told the Jakarta Globe in a text message.

According to a statement from local police, the case will be handed over to Malaysia's state attorney office this week. "Maybe in one or two days, they'll charge the suspects,” Iqbal said.

Adelina had been working without a visa for about two years in Malaysia before her death.

Migrant Workers Moratorium

Indonesia had already shared the draft of a new bilateral labor migration agreement with Malaysia in 2016 to prevent deaths of migrant workers like Adelina.

"But Malaysia's response so far has been less than enthusiastic," Iqbal said.

The Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Rusdi Kirana has now asked President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo to issue a moratorium on sending migrant workers — especially domestic helpers — to Malaysia.

"What happened to Adelina is a humanitarian tragedy.... It's time we stop sending workers off to Malaysia," Ambassador Rusdi said on Thursday in Jakarta.

He said a moratorium will give both Indonesia and Malaysia time to improve management and protection of migrant workers.

But according to report from state news agency Antara, Malaysia's deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamid said such a moratorium will be a great disadvantage for his country.