Govt protests death sentence for workers
Paper Edition | Page: 4
The government is protesting a court decision that sentenced two Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia to death, saying that the verdict is unfair and not transparent.
“The government will fight for justice. We will file a strong protest against the trial,” Manpower and Transmigration Minister Muhaimin Iskandar said after meeting with the parents of the workers here on Thursday.
“Both the workers have explained the situation, but they have been charged with murder and have been sentenced to death.”
The parents also met the leaders of the House Commission IX overseeing labor affairs on Wednesday to seek support for their children in avoiding the death penalty.
The Selangor High Court sentenced on Oct. 14 brothers Frans Hiu, 22, and Dharry Frully Hiu, 20, to be hanged by the neck until dead after the pair were found guilty of murdering Khartic Raja on Dec. 30, 2011.
According to Migrant Care executive director Anis Hidayahon, who visited Frans and Dharry in Kajang Prison in Selangor on Wednesday, the brothers and their alleged Malaysian accomplice all denied killing Khartic.
According to Anis, they claimed that Khartic entered their home while intoxicated by alcohol and narcotics on Dec. 30.
He died after the three tied him up and brought him out of the house before reporting the case to the police, Anis said.
The men were employed in a videogame rental shop run out of the place where they also lived.
Muhaimin said that the legal proceedings had been unjust. “The trial was not fair because the Malaysian worker who also faced the same murder charge was acquitted. It is discriminatory,” he said.
The minister denied reports that claimed that the Indonesian government did not hire local counsel to represent the Indonesians in a death penalty case, claiming that the government hired local lawyers in Malaysia and Saudi Arabia — two nations whose residents have a long history of mistreating Indonesian migrant workers — to represent troubled workers.
“We have coordinated with the Foreign Ministry and the Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to provide legal aid to the two migrant workers,” Muhaimin said.
Rieke Diah Pitaloka, an activist and lawmaker from the Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), urged President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to go to Malaysia and lobby its supreme court to review the case and to suspend sending workers to Malaysia.
“The President should prove his political commitment to protecting all citizens and give a quick response to those facing the death sentence overseas,” she said.
Rieke said that her party has coordinated with West Kalimantan governor Cornelis to lobby the UMNO to aid the brothers.