Families of migrant worker Adelina Jemira Sau wept over her coffin at El Tari Airport in Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara, in February last year. (Antara Photo/Kornelis Kaha)

Malaysian Attorney General to Appeal Decision to Free Employer of Dead Indonesian Migrant Worker


MAY 13, 2019

Jakarta. Malaysia's Attorney General Office will appeal a decision by the Pulau Penang High Court to free the employer of Indonesian domestic worker Adelina Jerima Sau, who died in February last year from being physically abused, Indonesia's Manpower Ministry said in a statement on Sunday.

Malaysian Attorney General Tommy Thomas told Indonesian Manpower Minister Hanif Dakhiri of the plan to appeal the decision on Saturday in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Hanif was in Kuala Lumpur on an official visit to increase protection for Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.

The Pulau Penang High Court lifted murder charges against 61-year-old Ambika M.A., the mother-in-law of Adelina’s former employer, on April 19.

The Indonesian consulate general in Penang protested the decision by sending an official letter to Malaysia's Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) to find out the reason behind the High Court's decision, malaymail.com reported on April 21.

Malaysia-based non-governmental organization Tenaganita and the International Humanitarian Welfare Organization (IHWO) have demanded that Attorney General Thomas review the court decision.

Ambika was previously charged under Section 302 of the Malaysian Penal Code, which carries a mandatory death sentence.

“We will reopen Adelina's murder case. We will appeal the Pulau Penang High Court decision,” Thomas said, as quoted in the Manpower Ministry's statement.

Prosecutors will present strong evidence in their appeal to prove Ambika's involvement in Adelina's death, Thomas said.

Adelina was rescued on Feb. 10 last year from her employers' home but died at Bukit Mertajam Hospital in Penang the following day.

A postmortem examination discovered that the 28-year-old domestic worker died from multiple organ failure and anemia. Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry had said that Adelina was forced to sleep outside with her employers' pet dog for almost two months before she was rescued.

She had been working in Malaysia for about two years before her death without a visa. Her employers were also charged for illegally employing a foreign worker. Adelina was from East Nusa Tenggara.

"Thank God we finally get a positive response for our protest," Hanif said.