• Sat
  • Oct 25, 2014
  • Updated: 2:55am
Erwiana Sulistyaningsih
NewsHong Kong
CRIME

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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40

This article is now closed to comments

jacobsfleung
If this case was not reported oversea, I am sure Hong Kong police will not do anything. Most Chinese employers are very mean indeed.
chanalin45
The sad side of humanity is forgotten
but hongkong police investigation process fast and good appreciation
hopefully there is a justice for Erwiana
we pray for you
blue
"There is an abundance of evidence- the testimony of TWO helpers, and the physical injuries. The employer should indeed get due process. The employer should be arrested and have her/his day in court."

Calm down. The police are doing their job and the employer will surely be arrested. They're not going to walk away from this.
blue
"Everyone has again jumped to a conclusion, all the evidence so far has been less than concrete. (Injuries yes, but committed by whom? Every maid has a phone [fact!], couldn't anything have been recorded?). The second maid, Bunga said she had sustained similar abuse from the same employer. If abuse was reported to the agency (and not police), I doubt the agency would refer another maid to the same client. Employers get black listed now a days right? Also, maids in the same building/complex often become friends, no chatter there?
Employers torturing maids, maids running into financial difficulty, bf/gf problems etc could all be the case. Let's just wait until everything unfolds."

I agree. The commenters who are so quick to judge are so annoying. It seems these morons don't understand due process.
helen1011
Not every maid has a phone, my mother once hired a domestic helper when I was ten (about 7 years ago) she was being tortured, yes, tortured, not allowed to rest on time, had to wake up real early and being beaten up. She had a phone but had to keep it secretly, until one day my mom found out and threw it out the window. That domestic helper loves me so much she wants to stay with me and protect me from being hurt by my mom so she didnt say a word and swallowed all the insults until her contract is done and wasnt prolonged by my parents.
wumao
There is an abundance of evidence- the testimony of TWO helpers, and the physical injuries. The employer should indeed get due process. The employer should be arrested and have her/his day in court.
meoii
Everyone has again jumped to a conclusion, all the evidence so far has been less than concrete. (Injuries yes, but committed by whom? Every maid has a phone [fact!], couldn't anything have been recorded?). The second maid, Bunga said she had sustained similar abuse from the same employer. If abuse was reported to the agency (and not police), I doubt the agency would refer another maid to the same client. Employers get black listed now a days right? Also, maids in the same building/complex often become friends, no chatter there?
Employers torturing maids, maids running into financial difficulty, bf/gf problems etc could all be the case. Let's just wait until everything unfolds.
martin.bctest
Nope. In the slightest chance that the maid inflicted the wound herself then why didn't the employer notice it and send her to hospital ? How could the employer keep the maid months after months with visible lacerated skins, open wounds, and walking disability ? Agency couldn't care less about abuse. If there's cash there's flesh.
wumao
Your comments show a lack of awareness of how agencies operate. They are not on the side of helpers. They are more interested in making money than protecting helpers.
daikerdy
this all is dirty politics of agencies and NGO's ... nothing truth in it... its way to force ImmD to change policy....only.... these are actresses of the Drama... such a injured person went unnoticed from our eagle eyed security personal at Air port, from proud able police officers, sensitive than a censers IMMD officers? while she was not able to walk even???... come on dont joke that big about our loving HK.... forigin forces are exploiting FDH's in HK... its crystal clear... its big biz of so called NGO's, missions ....plz HK GOVT be wise... save our people from this dirty tricks ...
wumao
You seem to be unaware of what has happened in Hong Kong recently. One Hong Kong couple were branded 'cruel and vicious' by a judge in September last year when he jailed the husband to three years and three months and the wife to five years and six months for abusing their helper for a period of TWO YEARS. THIS HAPPENED IN HONG KONG.
AnthonyNg
Are there laws to extradite the employer to Indonesia ? Let the indonesian take care of her !
Hong Kong law system is a failure !
HK-Explorer
Hong Kong is the safest place to walk at night. Period! There is no question on how amazing Hong Kong police are! They are best.
daily
Yeah, right..........what a joke!
wumao
Yes, Hong Kong is one of the safest places in the world. But not if you are a helper. A 2012 Mission for Migrant Workers Survey found that 58% of helpers had faced verbal abuse, 18% had faced physical abuse and 6% had faced sexual abuse. Helpers allow Hong Kong's middle class to have a double income. The least that Hong Kong can do in return is provide a safe working and living environment for helpers. The figures from the survey show it does not. Shame!
john.hammond.792
****hkhelperscampaign.com/hk-law-fails-helpers/
blue
"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.
shuike
@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.
maecheung
"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." ...... Does it take that many officers to take testimony???? Where is our Auditor General??
HK-Explorer
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.
john.hammond.792
HI IRDHK...
I think you need to speak up for your self before you shout in public,
Or you are the family who a bused the helper. you are making on AMAZING STORY
Not the helper. she is the victim not a MOVIE like what you think. evidence are on her NOT IN YOUR MIND AND NOT IN YOUR STORY OR YOUR HAND.
You need to learn more before you speak up.
reena_kaur187@hotmail.com
I hope this poor girl will get justice!
HK-Explorer
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.
wumao
Beating a maid is illegal. The evidence is very clear. Prosecution needs to happen.
HK_eh!
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.
wumao
The evidence is very clear. We have all seen the photos. Obviously the injuries were sustained in the home as she was not allowed to leave the house for 8 months. Any reasonable employer would make sure a maid with these kind of injuries saw a doctor. This employer was only concerned about getting the maid out of the country.
The evidence is clear. It just needs to be gathered by the police. Prosecution will follow.
This kind of abuse is allowed to happen in Hong Kong because many Hong Kong people don't want to know about this kind of abuse.
HK-Explorer
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.
martin.bctest
You're so naive. Some people do hire maids just to kick them around for the fun of it. It makes them feel good when they see those weaker than them scream and cry. Apparently many in HK are such people.
wumao
So you agree she was beaten! A good employer would help her get medical treatment. Only an employer with something to hide would put her on a plane out of the country.
There is no evidence to support your speculation.
The maid says the employer beat her. That is evidence. The employer will be prosecuted and imprisoned like the couple who have recently been imprisoned for torturing an Indonesian maid in Hong Kong.
HK-Explorer
Why does it mean that HKP are biased because they did not lay charges against the professor? Maybe no charges were laid because there was no evidence? The police are fully aware that domestic helpers are amazing at making up stories and turning on tears on demand. It is very common and probably occurs on an hourly basis.
Because of domestics helpers warranted reputation of lying that when a legitimate complaint comes up no one believes them. It is just like the childhood story "the boy who cried wolf".
wumao
You say helpers have a reputation for lying. Does this mean Hong Kong Chinese never lie?
ejmciii
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.
chanaa
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
HK_eh!
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.
martin.bctest
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.
wumao
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.
scmpcuty
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.
superron
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.
wumao
The evidence is very clear. An arrest should be made immediately.
ejmciii
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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