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Migrant Worker Buried in Malaysia As Family Had No Money to Bring Her Body Home to Indonesia

October 22, 2020, 08.19 PM

KOMPAS.comIndonesian migrant worker Ruri Alfath Mujaida died without family by her side in Malaysia. Her family in West Java later had to bear the pain even more as they had no money to bring her body back to Indonesia.

Ruri's sister Juju Juhairiyah, 41, said a recruiter from an employment agency told the family that the cost of repatriation was 32 million rupiahs ($2,100).

“If my sister was going to be buried there [in Malaysia], the cost was 9.8 million rupiahs ($666) and if her body was going to be repatriated then we’re required to pay 32 million rupiahs,” Juju said at her house in Parean Girang Village in Indramayu regency on Wednesday.

Also readSingapore High Court Acquits Indonesian Maid Accused of Theft by Employer

Ruri died on October 19 after a battle with tuberculosis in Malaysia. In September this year,  she told her family about her illness and her desire to go home soon as her health was deteriorating, Juju recalled.

“In a video call, Ruri said she wanted to come home as soon as possible. She looked thin as she had been ill for almost five months. She just laid down as she could hardly walk.

“She was mistreated by her first employer,” Juju added.

A representative from the Fast Response Team of Women and Children’s Protection in Indramayu Regency, Adi Wijaya, said that the deceased has already been buried in Malaysia.
The family, Adi said, was informed and they already accepted her fate.

Also read: Malaysia to Ban Entry of Indonesian Citizens Next Week

He explained that Ruri worked in Malaysia for three years. She went to work in Malaysia after she was recruited by an illegal employment agency in 2017.

Before she died, she had not received her salary for six months. 

Adi said he managed to contact Ruri before she passed on. At the time, as she was sick and was looked after by a foreigner, he added.

“I am not sure whether the foreigner was her acquaintance or partner. When she was sick, she was being helped by a foreign citizen,” Adi said in a telephone interview.

Also readIndonesia, Malaysia Team Up to Win the Trust of Travelers previously reported that in 2019, about 276,000 documented Indonesian migrant workers left their hometowns to seek employment overseas. The figure excludes undocumented migrant workers.

Of the total documented migrant workers from Indonesia, 69.15 percent were female workers.

The report also said that Malaysia remains the largest receiving country for Indonesian workers as a total of 79,662 Indonesians were employed in there.

(Writer: Mohamad Umar Alwi | Editors: Farid Assifa, Michael Hangga Wismabrata)


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