Thursday, November 27, 2008

Some people shouldn’t have maids!

"If you'd have a servant that you like, serve your self."

- Benjamin Franklin

Malaysiakini - Maid abuse: Housewife gets 18 years.

It’s the lamentable case of former air stewardess, Yim Pek, who brutalised her Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat. Some of the criminal acts she perpetrated on her employee were to press a hot iron on Bonat's back and breasts, and pour hot water on her legs.

And the only 'reason' of* pathetic perversity for her criminal activities was her own evil driving her to inflict sadistic torture on Bonat for 'not doing the house chores properly’. Where the f* did Yim crawl out from?

* I re-read the above paragraph and (apart from my grammatical & syntactic errors which I hope I have corrected) couldn't justify, and won't allow such a despicable crime to merit a 'reason' - evil cannot be a 'reason'

The Session Court found Yim guilty of grievously hurting the maid, and sentenced her to 18 years in jail.

I remember this case even before I started my own blog, Ktemoc Konsiders. The emotions expressed at some blogs over the unmitigated brutalities regretfully assumed a racial hue.

Yim had committed criminal acts, the authority prosecuted her, and based on evidence the Malaysian court found her guilty and sentenced her to a just term.

There’s no need to assume any racial denominator. Yim did a bad thing; she will now pay for her crimes.

I don’t feel in the least sorry for her; rather my sympathies are with Nirmala Bionat. I hope there is some form of financial compensation for her sufferings. Perhaps she can sue her agency and Yim (her husband).

Unfortunately some Malaysians cannot handle hired domestic help in a civilised manner. Asian maids (Filipinos) have been treated like sh*t if not sex slaves by some unscrupulous Gulf employers. Even in Malaysia there have been reports of the male employer sexually abusing his maid. The abuses have not been confined to any single ethnic group.

Recently I came across a sad case. Though there was no incident of sexual abuse, torture or any untoward conduct by the employer, I couldn’t tolerate the family’s attitude towards the maid.

They treated her like a nonentity at best and a robotic machine at worst. OK, I know the family very well – bloke is a distant cousin of mine.

The maid was working herself to her bones (this was already 2:30 p.m. and the maid still hadn’t had her lunch) when the 15-year old daughter chucked her plastic cup to the maid and ordered her in an overbearing voice to wash it up.

My blood pressure went the way our only astronaut had gone, right through the bloody roof into space. I couldn’t help but to put on my sternest-angriest ‘uncle’ voice and ordered the teenager to get up from her lazing on the sofa to wash the cup herself.

She was stunned by my strange departure from my normally friendly tone, and I even detected an attempt to argue with my instruction until she saw the black look on my face. Boy, she was really scared and rushed off to wash the cup. And I wasn’t acting, but truly furious at her lack of consideration for another human being.

Obviously my cousin and his wife weren’t happy with my reprimanding of their daughter. When I reminded my cousin that it was already 2:30 p.m. and the maid still hadn’t had her lunch he replied (in Hokkien): “Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau choi chnea.”

My blood pressure which was already up there in space went interplanetary.

“Chee harng ay larng – ee larng ay yau choi chnea” translated would be “This type of people – they know how to look for food”.

F*ing sh*t – Chee harng ay larng!

It’s unmitigated racism with a total lack of acknowledgement or acceptance that the maid was a human being.

I stared at him, showing my shock and disgust at his attitude as expressed by that term “Chee harng ay larng!”.

Needless to say, I haven’t ever been back to his house, though I have been, am still invited on several occasions. That pathetic idiot has been so oblivious to his appalling attitude that he even asks relatives why I have been shunning him.

Some people shouldn’t have maids.


  1. KT did right, I only hope more people are like you. And you're right, maid abuse transcends racial lines.

    Old Free

  2. If I were the judge, Yim Pek would be sentenced to work as a maid in Java for 18 years, without pay. In Buddhism, you get what you sow.

  3. Well said-my own family has been guilty of the same. Shame.

  4. I also cannot tahan when i see that.

  5. I totally agree with you. Many people I know have maids and sometimes their remarks about what they say and do can be quite alarming. You really see another side of people when they think that their maids are their slaves! I can't bear it either.

    I think it's a downright shame that someone had to suffer so badly for this to come to light. Like you, I don't feel sorry for that uncaring and unfeeling person who got her just desserts.

  6. do you really believe ex-stewardess-now-housewife with rich husband staying in uprising condo would do such thing like use iron to burn for little chore not done? i din read neighbors heard any screaming/shouting when the incident takes place, and this is not one-time burn/beat/mugged but many times! yeah, "some ppl shouldn’t have maids", esp a psycho maid to do everything to jeopardize yr future! we heard alot of indon maid case like child-molesting, beating old senile, stealing and even murder, and it just happens the ex-stewardess out-of-luck to engage such maid.....

    the lesson learn from this saga - engage indon maid at yr own risk!

  7. These people think their money very big...mostly lower class cretins with more money than sense.

    I suppose you reap what you sow.

  8. Denzook,
    Just because the maid is a psycho, it does not give anyone the right to abuse/torture her. A maid is a human being and should be treated as such. I would not label the ex-stewardess-now-housewife as worse than an animal because it would be an injustice to the animals.

  9. denzook - your "i din read neighbors heard any screaming/shouting when the incident takes place ..."

    Malaysians, especially city-dwellers, are renowned for their 'act dunno' attitude - the monkeys of 'see no evil, hear no evil and say no evil', the cosmopolitan ostriches of our times.

  10. A bit of contrarian view here, or more like the 3rd side of the story....

    First of all I totally agree that an employee must not be subject to physical and mental abuse. It is after all just a work contract - they didn't surrender their life to the employer.

    Now to the other side of the story. Having had direct experience of seeing how the typical Indonesian worker performs and behaves, I would say the employer needs to exercise strict discipline, sometimes tough discipline to ensure they perform their job.
    Nice guy approach doesn't work. Before you condemn me as a despicable slave driver, read my first point above.

    One of my previous responsibilities had over 1,000 foreign workers in their operations, so I know what I'm talking about.

    Anyway, I came out of the experience convinced the country must do whatever it can wean itself of imported low-skill labour. Its a poisoned fruit. You think it tastes good, but its poisoning your system in the long run...

  11. "Just because the maid is a psycho, it does not give anyone the right to abuse/torture her."

    wat i implied is that who knows if the employer "really" torture her, if you know wat i mean. who knows if there's more truth behind this case. becoz probably the maid kena slapping and scolding, she planned to revenge her employer..... do you really believe city-dwellers with rich husband and herself ex-stewardess background could do such barbaric acts. and my psycologist attested she's a psycho!

  12. Yes denzook, I do believe that a 'city-dwellers with rich husband and herself ex-stewardess background could do such barbaric acts.' Are city dwellers with rich husbands with a stewardess background incapable of causing physical harm to another person? Which medical study found that to be the case. What about kampung dwellers with poor husbands with no stewardessing backgrounds? Are they capable of doing such a thing, or not? Please explain.

    In the face of a court trial where evidence was provided by both sides I fail to find how your argument has any legitimate merit.

    They may well be more to the truth, truth is after all relative. But on the balance of evidence in a trial which really even the defence attorney failed to claim was rigged, just why is it that 'city-dwellers with rich husband and herself ex-stewardess background could do such barbaric acts'?

  13. "do you really believe ex-stewardess-now-housewife with rich husband staying in uprising condo would do such thing like use iron to burn for little chore not done?"

    Hey, dude,

    What an utterly ignorant and prejudiced mind you have. A privileged background doesn't make us saints. Tendency of violence like illness, hits all classes.

    If you want an insight into this, you need look no further at the blogs of a few women with maids, privileged enough not to have to work, to depend on husband's income alone. You might start here:

    Read the things they and many of their blog commenters say about their maids, their feelings... their suggestions to discipline slow/incompetent maids.

    Here's a sample:
    a) “all they need is just a plate of rice”,
    b) “seriously i wish i could lay my hands on my maid’s face”

    What's more shocking is that 9 times out of ten, their fellow (privileged) mommy-friends will agree and fan the fire rather than give constructive comments about maid management or anger management.

  14. Pada saya anda patut lakukan lebih dari itu. Apa yang berlaku adalah manifestasi sesuatu yang lebih dari itu.

    Kami kaum melayu sering diherdik sedemikian di tempat2 kerja yang mana kaum cina menjadi taukeh. Sering anak2 melayu yg berpelajaran dan kerja kuat tidak diberi peluang seperti anak2 cina yg kadang2 tidak langsung berkebolehan.

    Anda boleh ambil alasan ini tidak mencerminkan semua orang cina atau orang melayu mungkin ada juga demikian.

    Realitinya jauh lebih banyak taukeh2 dari kaum cina dari taukeh2 melayu. Kalau ada pun taukeh2 melayu, mereka mendiskriminasi kaumnya sendiri dengan tidak diambil langsung orang Melayu. Mereka lebih percaya kepada pekerja cina kerana mereka malas membantu dan melatih anak2 melayu.

    Anda sering melaungkan seolah2 orang melayu mendiskrimasi orang2 cina. Tetapi macam mana boleh berlaku? Orang Cina jauh lebih senang. Mereka ada kaum2 mereka yg sedia membantu? Melayu hanya berharap kerajaan sebagai majikan atau sumber nafkah. Itu pun orang cina mahu tuntut dan kata kita mendiskriminasi.

    Hati saya tersentuh dengan gelagat majikan Cina kepada nirmala itu. Nirmala adalah kaum saya. Jika tidak kerana sosial kontrak, dia adalah rakyat atau subject DYMM Raja2 Melayu kerana kami serumpun dan Malaya/Nusantara Melayu adalah tanahair kami.

    Saya tidak menuduh kaum Cina seluruhnya. Saya juga kata ada ramai orang Cina yang baik hati. Malah ada kala, lebih banyak kaum cina yang jauh lebih baik prihatin dari kaum saya sendiri.

    Apabila perkara nafkah dan peluang untuk mencari kehidupan, saya sering bertanya bila orang Cina akan berlaku adil kepada kami?

    Kalau semua mahu samarata, kami kongsi negara ini dengan kamu tetapi kami ini macam binatang pula tidak ada langsung hak untuk mencari mafkah kehidupan, mencari harta buat anak2, sentiasa diambil peluang untuk ditindas oleh penguasaan monopoli kapitalis bukan melayu menindas kami dan rakan2 bumiputera lain.

    Ayuh mari kita cari keadilan dan bukan kesamarataan. Ekonomi bebas yg anda idamkan akan hanya menjadikan kami minoriti ekonomi yang lebih hina dari najis di tanah tumpah darah kami.

    Bangsa kamu bisa berhijrah tetapi kami tidak mampu untuk berhijrah. Fikirkan!

  15. “all they need is just a plate of rice” = what I said re “Chee harng ay larng!”, the pathetic look-down with scorn and cruelty at the untermenschen (subhumans)

    It's a Nazi word labelling the Jews as subhumans, and the f* irony is that today the Children of the Holocaust, the Israelis, treat the Palestinians as such too!

    Should we Malaysian, like Yim, treat the Indons, Filipinos, our foreign maids as untermenschen as well?

  16. Anon yg berkomen pada 2:29 PM, November 28, 2008

    ;-) saya hanya menunggu saja komen saperti mu tertimbul. Ternyata dah sampai wakakaka.

    aiyoh tuan, cerita jelek ni dah kuno lah.

  17. Terima kasih dengan sensitiviti tuan Ktemoc. :(

    Ketawalah. Pasti ia menghiburkan. Saya pasti tuan pun punya hujah dan alasan yang hebat.

    Begitulah kami ini dilayan oleh majikan. Ulasan saya adalah ulasan hati dan perasaan. Sering hati kami tidak dipedulikan.

    Anon 2:29 PM

  18. you know why nazi looking down at jews? you know why hitler so dislike jew (despite her mother was treated by a jewish doctor)? coz during wwi, while hitler and others serving in the frontline battling the enemies, the jews preached socialism and communism and brought reich downfall. deutschland not fell coz of anglais or francais.

  19. Hail the Meister race.

  20. A Yim Pek Ha in the making here:

  21. These type of people should not have maids..and agree fully. While we screen maids for medically etc etc., we must also screen undesirable employers. What that woman did was inhuman and she deserved to be put away.

  22. this denzook. come from where? what values you have, asserting rich people can't possibly do such things?

    Revenge on the employers, you say? Open your eyes wide, look at the pictures that detail the atrocities this maid suffered. Self-inflicted (to take revenge on employers)?

  23. Lots of people preached socialism and communism in the homeland-Hitler merely blamed the Jews. Even if it were Jewish people leading the socialist charge, doe sthat justify Hitler's response. Denzook, you are an idiot of the highest order. actually, I take that back-nobody can possibly so stupid. Actually you're just a prankster who replies in an idiotic manner to provide us with light humour, which we miss because we aren't half as smart as you.

    Dear sir, I congratulate you for your genius. We simply can't keep up. I look forward to your next chapter of dark humour. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant!

  24. The Umno supporters online forums are having a field day making an issue of Yim’s ethnicity, with one commentator alluding to her as a ‘monyet betina’ (being 40 years old, Yim would likely have been born in the Year of the Monkey, according to the Chinese zodiac).

    Urm, to conflate two topics – Chinese torturers & monkeys, there’s that exotic dish Monkey's Brain. Like K’Temoc’s Penang lok-lok dining setting, imagine a table with hole in middle. Live monkey then secured to table and head through hole – held with a vice or iron ring contraption.

    Waiter splits monkey’s head with small hammer. Head trepanned. Boiling water poured.

    Monkey kicking and screaming in death throes. Chinese diners proceed to eat braised brain, digging chopsticks into monkey skull.

    But animal cruelty in M’sia is not this Chinese cuisine lah. May I suggest a jail term of at least nine years and bail of RM100,000 for abusers who scald, burn or beat stray dogs and cats?

    Stiffen the Animal Protection laws, yes?


  25. some people do think they can do whatever they want to those who in ''lower class'' like nirmala.

    even some of my neighbours did the same thing to their maids. Ironically, their maids are so close wit my family (i dun have maid at home) bcoz we treat them nicely n help them sometimes. not all maids are bad, but mostly the employers are BAD. I've seen many of this.the maids will become bad when the employer treat them badly. this is the root cause

    tentang apa yg anon cerita itu, mmg ada kebenarannya. tau kenapa org cina bersikap begitu kpd kaum kamu? kerana sudah tertanam dlm kepala otak mereka bahawa kaum melayu ni malas n x berusaha, yang mana pun ada kebenarannya. orang cina hanya akan respek org melayu apabila ada kaum melayu yg mampu berdiri atas kaki sendiri. tak percaya? tanyalah mana2 kaum melayu yg rajin n berusaha, pasti dia akan bgtau anda bahwa bos cina dia baik. sebab dia rajin.

    kena marah n tengking tu adalah lumrah alam. jadi anda sendiri yg kena buktikan bahwa anda bukan org sperti yg digambarkan.

  26. denzook - "do you really believe ex-stewardess-now-housewife with rich husband staying in uprising condo would do such thing like use iron to burn for little chore not done?.."

    Can you pls...pls explain to me what kind of theory is this? if city-dwellers like her wont do such acts...then who will? only poor orang kampung tht hv not worked in an airplane b4 will?

    omg im speechless.