A Malaysian has been sentenced to eight years in prison for abusing his maid, three months after his wife was jailed for scalding the woman with a hot iron, a report said today.
A. Vealu, a grass-cutting contractor, was convicted of exploiting a 26-year-old maid from East Java, who was found with burn injuries after being abandoned by Vealu and his wife last year.
A district court in northern Penang state passed the verdict on Friday but Vealu, 42, was not jailed immediately and is pending appeal, the New Straits Times reported.
His wife, S.M. Poongavanam, was sentenced in May to eight years in jail after she was found guilty of grievously injuring the maid with an iron in September last year.
The maid, who was discovered by a roadside, had also accused Vealu of repeatedly raping her. Lawyers could not immediately be reached today.
Abuse cases, especially of Indonesian maids who make up the brunt of domestic helpers in Malaysia, have frequently surfaced in recent years, and led Indonesia to stop sending maids to Malaysia for two years.
An agreement to take better care of their welfare was signed between the two countries in May, ending the ban. About 170,000 women work as maids in Malaysia, according to the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies.