• Tue
  • Dec 23, 2014
  • Updated: 9:11pm
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong police to go to Indonesia to interview Erwiana about abuse claims

Testimony about her alleged abuse to be taken as a third helper's case surfaces

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 January, 2014, 3:57am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 January, 2014, 10:36am

Four Hong Kong crime-squad officers will leave for Indonesia as early as Monday to take testimony from a maid who says she was tortured in Hong Kong, although her employer has denied the allegations.

The move came as the government vowed to strengthen checks on employment agencies for foreign domestic helpers and as details emerged of another allegation of abuse involving an Indonesian maid and her Hong Kong employer.

Expressing concern over Erwiana Sulistyaningsih's (pictured) case, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said any employment agency not in compliance with regulations would have its licence revoked.

"On this, the government will not be light-handed," Cheung said. "We do not tolerate any abuse and exploitation of foreign domestic helpers. They are part of the local workforce and we have the responsibility to protect them."

Erwiana, 23, alleges she was beaten, burned and tortured by her employer. The injuries were so severe she sought treatment upon returning to Indonesia at a Sragen, Java, hospital, where she is recovering.

A second maid, who gave her name as Bunga, says she also endured similar abuse from the same employer.

A third case of abuse surfaced yesterday involving allegations against a different employer, Professor Mak Chan Shuk-yin, an associate college head and dean of students at Chinese University's United College.

She was accused of beating her 50-year-old maid at her home in the Chinese University's staff quarters on November 23. The helper, who allegedly suffered head and leg injuries, made a report to police the next day.

After inquiries, police arrested Chan, 57. She was granted bail and was not charged. She is required to report back to police later this month.

In Erwiana's case, a police source said her 44-year-old employer denied the assault in a brief interview with officers on Sunday.

"Documents were also shown to our officers indicating the maid quit of her own accord and had returned to Indonesia," he said.

On Sunday afternoon, staff from the Indonesian consulate and Erwiana's employment agency were not allowed in when they went to the employer's home in Beverly Gardens in Tseung Kwan O to ask about the alleged assault.

Neighbours have told police they were unaware of any abuse.

Yesterday, police appealed for anyone with information on the case to contact the Kwun Tong district crime squad on 3661 1622.

Watch: Hong Kong domestic helpers demand justice for 'tortured maid'


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This article is now closed to comments

SCMPCUTY -> as HK_eh! says, let's wait for more information as the case progresses. If it turns out that the employer is guilty, then the legal system will met out the appropriate punishment. However, it is overly emotional and unfair to "shame" the entire society of Hong Kong even if the case did turn out that this employer mistreated the maid. There are lot of employers who treat their domestic helpers fairly, don't let a few bad ones instigate a knee-jerk reaction.
For your consideration -> if it turns out that the facts are not how they were presented, it would only be fair for you to redact your comments with equal conviction.
No, I don't have a helper and I am glad I do not. I think that in today's world people are too quick to jump to judgement of people. We have laws and they should be followed to ensure it is fair. The fact that the Indonesian embassy (a foreign government) went to the residence is so far out of the ordinary that it should be taken ver seriously by the people of Hong Kong.
If you disagree with me then think of it this way: if the PLA (China police) went to a residence of someone in HK do you think people would think that was OK? No we would have people protesting in the street.
But the PLA has more of a right / justification than Indonesia to investigate in HK.
It was solely a PR stunt by Indonesia who don't actually care about the helper. Hong Kong government does not lodge a complaint because they are scared it will be seen as Indonesian bashing.
It is all just a big farce and a joke in the eyes of the law.
The staff from the Indonesian embassy that went to the employers house should be asked by the Chinese government to leave Hong Kong. Having a foreign country officials go to Hong Kong residents houses to intimidate them is totally illegal. Even if investigating a criminal case they have no authority.
If the Indonesian government want to perform an investigation into this they should have contacted the Hong Kong government. The government would have then arranged the meeting. Like any police investigation the family had the right to be given notice and the right to have had an attorney present.
Hong Kong has the rule f law. In this case the family has been treated as guilty without any due process or trial. Shame on Indonesia.
the evidence is not clear at all. she has sustain serious physical injury. it has to be proven her employer was the guilty party. One can sympathize with her, and as many have said, if proven guilty her employer should be punished severely in the court of law but many posers have gotten emotional and became judge and jury and already decided who is right/wrong.
Let the police investigate before the accusations fly. HK is not a 3rd world country.
There are many church / maid help groups in HK that should have got involved before this maid left HK.
Keep an open mind on who's at fault.
I hope this poor girl will get justice!
@maecheung. Of course it need 4. One to carry the bag, one to ask the questions, one to confirm the injuries & most important of all, the CEO (Chief Entertainment Officer) to take the 3 out to dinner & karaoke in Indonesia for all the hard work of flying out there.
Beating a maid is illegal. The evidence is very clear. Prosecution needs to happen.
"so the prof mak was granted bail, not charged & report back in a mth. Do it take mth to investigate ? Somehow, these 2 cases point to a biased side of HKP"

Police do this for ALL criminal cases. Charges are almost always typically laid in a month rather than immediately. HK Police is not being biased here.

There are so many knee jerk emotional comments today.
Let's see. I assume she did leave within the 8 months and this will be seen on the building security cameras.
Why am I so sure? I am sure because no one will pay a maid to just stay in an apartment. Cleaning / cooking only takes 2-3 hours of work a day. Thus they would have used the maid for child care / groceries etc.
Also loan sharks do beat people who do not pay back their debts. She may just be too scared to say it is loan sharks and just say employer. She will now be so stuck in her lie that she may be forced by Indonesia to come back and keep up the story.
I am not saying what I say above is absolutely fact but I am saying that people should not judge to conclusions. There are many possibilities and I am sure the police will get to the bottom f it fast. Hong Kong is covered with CCTV and they will be going through the footage now carefully.



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