2010/09/03

Indonesian maid wanted for murder arrested at job interview

KUALA LUMPUR, September  3, 2010 (AFP) - An Indonesian maid who went on the run after being accused of murdering her Malaysian employer's baby son has been arrested after coolly lining up an interview for a new job, police said Friday.

Police have been hunting for the 25-year-old woman, from Java in Indonesia, after the 15-month-old boy died last week and a post-mortem examination indicated foul play.

She was arrested after approaching a family in suburban Kuala Lumpur asking for a job. They recognised her from her picture in the newspaper and alerted police, Ampang district police chief Abdul Jalil Hassan told AFP.

"She went to one of the houses, carrying a plastic bag with some clothes and was asking for a job," Abdul Jalil said.

"She told the family that she ran away from her employer as she could no longer work with them."

"The family noticed she looked similar to the suspect wanted by police in connection to the baby murder case and alerted us. We went to the house and detained the woman," he said.

Malaysia is one of Asia's largest importers of labour and depends heavily on domestic workers, who come mainly from Indonesia.

There are no laws governing their working conditions, and cases of abuse, non-payment and even murder of domestic workers are much more common than incidents of maids committing crimes.

In the death of the baby boy, the maid reportedly telephoned her employer and told him that he had fallen ill and was unconscious.

A report from the post-mortem examination showed the baby had strangulation marks on his neck, and had suffered internal brain haemorrhage and bruises believed to be from being kicked or stepped on, the Star newspaper reported.

The maid faces a death penalty if charged and convicted of murder.