Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa demanded that the Malaysian government take immediate and concrete action on the alleged rape of an Indonesian migrant worker by three policemen in Penang, on Friday.
“That was a vicious, savage and unacceptable act. Furthermore, it was done by police officers who should protect people […] The Malaysian government should voice its clear stance regarding this incident,” he said at the ministry on Monday.
House of Representatives lawmakers echoed Marty’s outrage, demanding that either Indonesia’s ambassador to Malaysia be recalled or Malaysia’s top envoy be sent home.
Marty said that Indonesia would do its best to ensure that all legal processes in the case proceeded properly and appropriately.
“The prosecution will be carried out by Malaysian authorities, but we will make sure that the worker’s testimony is delivered in the best manner,” he told reporters, adding that the 25-year-old victim was staying at the Indonesian Consulate General in Penang.
Marty said the Indonesian government would coordinate with the Malaysian government in the investigation and prosecution of the three accused police officers, identified as NS, 33; SR, 21; and RA, 25, who are being detained by the Penang Police.
The lawmakers also reminded the government that bringing the three Malaysian policemen to justice would help guarantee the rights of other Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.
The legislators urged the Foreign Ministry to exercise firm and punitive diplomacy if the Malaysian government failed to handle the case properly.
“The government must call our envoy home to explain what really happened because the incident has undermined the dignity of our nation,” House Deputy Speaker Priyo Budi Santoso said.
The National Commission on Violence against Women ( Komnas Perempuan ) said the incident showed that Malaysia had failed to guarantee the rights of Indonesian workers, as stipulated in last year’s agreement between both governments.
“The Malaysian government, as a neighboring country and an ASEAN member, has not demonstrated cooperation in ensuring the protection of Indonesian citizens,” Komnas Perempuan chairwoman Yuniyanti Chuzaifah said in a statement.
Jumhur Hidayat, the head of the Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers, said that the victim, a native of Batang, Central Java, had been registered as a legal migrant worker in Singapore since 2010.
“Eight months after working there, she moved to Batam then Penang, to work in a company called Amwork Vision,” he said, as reported on the agency’s official website.
According to media reports, the 25-year-old was traveling in a taxi in Penang on Friday when the three policemen stopped the cab to check documents. When the officers discovered that the migrant worker only had a copy of her passport with her, they took her to the Prai police station, where they allegedly raped and then threatened her to keep silent about the attack. She, however, reported the rape to local authorities.
Marty said that even though the migrant worker did not have her original passport with her, this did no warrant the extremity of the officers’ treatment of her. ( yps )