'I forgive my bosses' says Indonesian helper who was tortured for two years

Indonesian helper says she is glad her ordeal is over now and looks forward to going home

PUBLISHED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 20 September, 2013, 10:50am

Indonesian maid Kartika Puspitasari has this to say of her two former bosses who tortured her for two years: "I have already forgiven them."

It was the first time Kartika, 30, had spoken openly after Tai Chi-wai, 42, and Catherine Au Yuk-shan, 41, were convicted on eight wounding and assault charges.

District Court Judge So Wai-tak sentenced Tai to three years and three months in prison, and jailed Au for 5-1/2 years earlier this week.

Kartika previously told the court that in her two-year stay in the couple's home in Tai Po, Au assaulted her almost daily with a hanger and a shoe. Her two former employers once even tied her to a chair and lashed her with a bicycle chain, breaking part of her front teeth, she said.

The helper had more than 45 scars and injuries over her body when she finally managed to escape from the couple's flat on October 9 last year.

Kartika was speaking yesterday in a press conference organised by the Indonesia consulate. She said she respected the court's decision and that she felt justice had been served.

She had earlier told the court that Tai and Au had made her wear a diaper, tied her to a chair and left her without food and water while they went for a five-day holiday with their three children last summer.

In passing sentence, Judge So said Kartika's testimony about her five-day detention had an "inherent improbability". But yesterday, the maid insisted: "I have spoken the truth."

I don't want to remember anything about it again
Kartika Puspitasari

Asked to recall what helped her pull through her ordeal, she lost her smile, turning sombre. "I don't want to remember anything about it again," she replied.

She said she was happy she had escaped and that she could now contact her family whenever she felt like it. She had no plans to look for a new job in the city, and wanted only to go home soon.

Indonesian consul general Chalief Akbar Tjandraningrat said the consulate would give Kartika legal advice on how to recover the two years of wages Tai and Au owed her. She would also get help in claiming damages from the couple for her injuries.

Akbar added that the Indonesian consulate kept records on the agencies and employers who used Indonesian domestic helpers, and that if the maids were found to be abused, the consulate would submit information about the agencies and employers to the Labour Department.