The Indonesian government has condemned the alleged rape last Friday of an Indonesian migrant worker by three policemen in the Malaysian state of Penang.
“We condemn the [alleged] actions of the three police officers,” Foreign Ministry spokesman
Michael Tene said on Sunday.
Tene said that the Indonesian government would closely monitor the legal process against the three police officers suspected of raping the female migrant worker, who was identified only as S, a native of Batang, Central Java.
He said that the ministry would liaise with the relevant agencies in Malaysia to ensure that the three officers, if found guilty, received the most severe punishment.
The Foreign Ministry confirmed that they had been informed about the incident.
“We received reports from officials with the Malaysian Foreign Affairs Ministry that an Indonesian migrant worker had allegedly been raped by three local police officers,” said Tatang Budie Utama Razak, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s director for legal aid and protection of Indonesian nationals abroad.
However, it was Migrant Care, the advocacy group for migrant workers overseas who first broke the news about the rape. Migrant Care director Anis Hidayah said that the incident happened on Friday when S was taken by the officers to the Prai police station in Penang, Malaysia, for not having her passport while in a taxi on her way home to Taman Inderawasih, Prai.
The three policemen reportedly took turns raping the woman at the station, after she had begged the officers to release her. After raping the victim, the officers threatened her and ordered her not to tell anyone about the incident. However, S summoned the courage to file a report to the police later that day.
Responding to the report, the Penang Police arrested the three officers. The Penang Police chief Deputy Comr. Datuk Abdul Rahim Hanafi said, as quoted by tempo.co, that his force would conduct a thorough investigation of the case.
Currently, S is staying at a temporary shelter set up by the Indonesian Consulate General in Penang.
The news of the rape of the Indonesian migrant worker broke only days after a brouhaha over a report that leaflets stating “Indonesians maids now on sale” were circulating in Kuala Lumpur.
The leaflet also contained information which read “Fast and easy application. Now your housework and cooking come easy. You can rest and relax. Deposit only RM 3,500 [US$1143] price RM 7,500 nett.”
Many have said that the ads have humiliated Indonesia as a country. Both the Indonesian and Malaysian governments have expressed concern over the ads and the Malaysian Police are currently investigating them.
“These are the acts of individuals. They deserve to be punished according to the law,” spokesman Tene said, referring to both the alleged rape and the ads.
He said that both the Indonesian and Malaysian governments had taken measures to prevent crimes against Indonesian migrant workers. Tene added that crimes against Indonesian migrant workers could be used as a basis for the government to decide on future policies to be pursued regarding the sending of workers abroad.
Last year, the Indonesian government revoked a two-year moratorium on sending migrant workers to Malaysia, after signing a new agreement with the Malaysian government to guarantee the rights of
Indonesian migrant workers. ( riz )