Malaysia couple charged with harming Cambodian maid

May 30, 2012
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – A Malaysian couple has been charged with causing "grievous hurt" to their Cambodian maid, their lawyer said Wednesday (May 30th), in the latest case of alleged abuse of domestic helpers.

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    According to AFP, a string of such cases has strained ties between Malaysia and some of its Southeast Asian neighbours, leading Cambodia and Indonesia to temporarily stop sending workers until better protections are established.

    Hairdresser Tan Mong Huwai and his wife Eng Lay Sang, both 36, pleaded not guilty in a district court in Kuala Lumpur on Tuesday to causing "grievous hurt by dangerous weapons" to their maid, lawyer Hue Kok Chung said.

    He declined to give further details. The Star reported the couple allegedly hit their maid, Cheah Phalla, 28, with an iron, an aluminium rod, a kitchen knife and other household items between last August and this May.

    If found guilty, the couple could face 20 years in prison. Tan and Eng, who is pregnant, were released on bail with the next court date set for June 29th, Hue said.

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