By B Nantha Kumar
KUALA LUMPUR: Seven months ago 43-year-old Rasiabanu from Tamil Nadu lodged a police report against her employers for failing to pay her wages for 16 months.
Rasiabanu had worked with them as a maid for two years and saw only her first month’s salary.
“Every time I asked them (employers) they said they will give it to me when I return to India.
“I believed them and continued working. After two years I asked to return home, but they refused to let me go. They refused to give me my money,” said Rasiabanu who now has a very low opinion about Malaysian employers. .
Rasiabanu came to Malaysia in 2008 with the ‘great hope’ of improving her family’s financial situation in India.
In India her husband worked as a sales assistant in a shopping complex in Trichy and earned 60 rupees a day.
But it was not enough to take care of the family, including their three children’s daily expenses.
“It was about that time when an agent met me and told me that I could work in Malaysia for two years and earn a lot of money.
"I wanted to help increase my family income. The agent said I had to pay 25,000 rupees to work in Malaysia.
“I managed to borrow the 25,000 rupees and paid the agent,” she told FMT.
On arrival at the Malaysian airport Rasiabanu was taken straight to her employer’s house.
“The employer agreed to pay me RM400 a month. They paid my first month salary and promised to pay up fully when the time came for me to return home.
“I agreed because they seemed like good people.”
But the backdated salaries amounting to RM6,400 did not come. Instead her former employers threatened her.
'Malaysians are mean'
Angry and upset at having been wronged, she sought justice at the Brickfields police station.
According to her the police have only met with her former employers once, but so far nothing has happened and she has not received her money.
“I'm staying in Tenaganita now for more than seven months. I still cannot go home. I miss my family so much...
"When I was in my village in India, I thought Malaysians were very nice people but when I came here I discovered how mean Malaysians actually are.
“They (Malaysians) have a lot of money but they are uncaring and cruel to people.
“Everyday I hope the police will make my former employers pay-up so that I can go back to my husband and children,” said Rasiabanu when met recently.
The rally's estimated to be 100 000 people gathered outside the Petronas Twin Towers at midnight, early Sunday morning.At least 240 people were detained, but half of them were later released. One day before the rally, police arrested three HINDRAF lawyers, P. Uthayakumar, P. Waytha Moorthy and V. Ganabatirau for sedition charges. Uthayakumar and Ganabatirau posted bail of 800 Malaysian ringgits each, but Waytha Moorthy refused bail as a sign of protest.