Thursday 29 October 2009


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: SC <>
Date: Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 5:00 PM
Subject: [SABM] the.deafening. blow.of.silence.

some of us may not know her, but for us, it is another life, not just a statistic, not just an isolated case as one of our Ministers said on TV ... I have seen dozens coming through our Shelter abused, broken and traumatised.  Here below is a touching write-up by my colleague Katrina on what brought about such abuse, such pain .... and what we can do about it ...  
     soo choo 

Who is Mautik Hani?            
I write this in reflection of Mautik Hani, the 36 year old Indonesian domestic worker who died here yesterday after suffering serious injuries due to severe abuse by her employers. She was so brutally beaten, and then kept locked in the toilet for several days. When she was found, her backbone & right wrist were broken, her body was bruised, her face swollen, and a wound on her right leg so severe, her bone was visible. Google "Mautik Hani" for more news reports. The police say they are investigating it, a Minister said on the news yesterday that this was 'merely an isolated incident, while the other thousands of domestic workers in this country are fine'. Thousands may not 'die from brutal beatings' every day, but we didn't get to this point by chance.
My thoughts on this are below.  (file attached for a clearer view)
Who is Mautik Hani?
Do we care?
This is who she is not:
She is not a 'statistic.'
She is not an isolated incident. 
Mautik Hani was a woman.
She was a daughter; she was someones friend.
Somebody called her my neighbour; another called her my sister.
Mautik Hani had dreams to chase;
 questions to ask; memories to share.
There were things that made her sad;
and there were things that made her laugh.
She had feelings; she had ideas; and she had gifts to share
Her body could be flooded with pain, or pierced with joy. 
She carried burdens, and somewhere, she bore hope.
Mautik Hani was a person.
No different from you,
No different  from me.
We asked her in.
And then we let her die.
Bruised. Beaten. Her bones exposed.
The smell of rotting flesh permeated the air.
Bound. Gagged. Unconscious.
Her body weary; attacked; abused.
She slipped away from consciousness.
As did we.
In the past two years, Tenaganita has handled 265 cases of domestic workers whove been beaten, raped, deprived of wages, harassed, violated, kept in isolation, tortured and abused. While weve been able to get some compensation for cases of unpaid wages, not a single case of violence or abuse has gone to court or been brought to justice.
Police investigations are sluggish, court systems inaccessible, and processes drag on endlessly. Often, the victims drop the cases out of weariness, and go home as the final tethers of hope snap. Some wait persistently, stuck in the hole of trauma, each passing day taking away with it possibilities of justice.
We see the numbers grow, we watch the statistics swell, and we close our eyes as the perpetrators walk away.   
The stories of these women are horrific;
Lacerations on the vagina.
Forced to eat cockroaches.
Mouth stuffed with chilies.
Face attacked with a fish scraper.
These stories are real. These women are real. Each one is testament to the reality weve created around us.
We keep these women unseen and unheard, invisible from the world. They are present only when we want them to work for us, and yet we wont even recognize what they do as work.  
We are so afraid theyll run away; we convince ourselves theyll pick up diseases and infect us. We tell ourselves that were just protecting our families. We quietly feel superior to them. We dont let them speak to the neighbours. We worry when they have friends. We feel their work is simple, and yet we dont do it ourselves. We throw a fit when we need to work on weekends, yet we wont even grant them a day off. We expect pay raises, and cluck our tongues in shock when they ask for it. We hear about a maid who was abused and quickly share the story about the maid who stole from her employer. We look at the way our friends treat them, convince ourselves that were not like that and yet we stay silent about it.
 This is not a generic we. Its a we made up of you, of me, of your sister, your friend, your husband, your wife, your boss, your neighbour, your father, your teacher every person in this country is contained in that we. Make no mistake of this; we let this happen.
 We let this happen because weve ignored the thousands of signs that have led to this point. Signs contained in domestic workers whose wages were never paid, whove been kept in isolation, whove been made to work every day of their lives, whove been slapped, whove been burned, whove been put down. Do a thousand domestic workers need to die before we decide it is enough? Or have we removed ourselves so far from our conscience that this becomes something we merely wince at but stay silent about?
Our actions have harmed these women so severely.
But so have our inactions.
Silence has a way of legitimizing violence, and our deafening silence when faced with the realities of domestic workers in our country has done exactly that.
Mautik Hani died at 36 years old from the beatings of her employers.
Mautik Hani also died because we brushed off each case that came before her as an isolated incident.
We saw the signs, we closed our eyes, and we let her die.
 ~katrina jorene maliamauv~
      26th October 2009


  1. The day is fast approaching.

    Malaysians will one day be forced to go overseas to work , as maids, as manual labourers.

    It is unavoidable.

    Unless we get this country back in right order, fast!


  2. When finally the case is heard in court, the defence council will suggest that the maid injured herself as with the case of Nirmala Bonat.

    The lawyers got the lead from no one else but Tun MM who suggested that DSAI injured himself while in police custody.

    And the case will drag until eternity.

  3. PEOPLE Listen......We have to RISE up against our common enemy I.E THE MALAYSIAN GOVERMENT. All problem will be solved automatically by eliminating them.Otherwise our beautifull country MALAYSIA will perish forever and become MALINGSIA.NAJIB AND HIS MERRY MEN MUST GO....PERIOD