• Sat
  • Aug 30, 2014
  • Updated: 2:45pm
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

You say helpers have a reputation for lying. Does this mean Hong Kong Chinese never lie?
Similarly you all here in HK have a warranted reputation for beating and abusing your maids. Not all, but it happens. They are not your slaves and you do make a good buck on the fact that their nation has a lower per capita GDP than HK. People like you do make me sick sometimes.
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
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.
You think everyone's as sophisticated as you ? The maid doesn't speak the language, doesn't know her way around let alone support groups. She was not told her rights and had 2 weeks before the visa expired. Not everyone who is abused goes to police. In fact people just accept and go. Look at the other maids who come forward. They all said they were just too afraid and just wanted to go.
The police are investigating because there are accusations. Without any accusation there would be no investigation.
Blame lies not with church/ maid groups but with the employer. How can any employer let a maid's health deteriorate like that and then put her on a plane to get her out of the country. If the employer was innocent he/she would have made sure the maid received medical treatment here in Hong Kong.
These evil employers should be brought to justice for inflicting such cruelties! It is alarming that these type of atrocities would go on in a home in Hong Kong behind closed doors! I hope this helper will summon the courage to speak up and stand up for this type of torture. Shame on you, Hong Kong.
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.
The evidence is very clear. An arrest should be made immediately.
Yes, because it has never happened before. Get a clue. It will be investigated but it is a symptom of a more pronounced disease and HK people refuse to admit it. They are not your slaves. You cannot treat them worse than your dogs. I can only wish people like you have to go through what these people have. That is the shame. An arrogance that does not allow for admission that there is a pervasive view in too much of HK that what is done to the maid is ok because you pay her.




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