KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 24, 2010 (AFP) - Malaysian police in southern Malacca state said Sunday six people had been detained over the murder of an Indonesian maid.
State police chief Rodwan Mohamad Yusof said 31-year-old Nurul Aida from Bogak in Indonesia is believed to have died at her employer's home last week.
It is understood the employer ordered a woman from the agency that hired the maid to take the body away and provide a replacement but Rodwan said no undertaker would accept the body without a death certificate.
Rodwan said the agency worker went to the Indonesian embassy, which directed her to a hospital where police were told about the death of the maid, whom Rodwan said was believed to have been working illegally since her passport expired last year.
"We have arrested six people including the maid's employers, an elderly couple, their son, the maid's agent and two helpers over the death," Rodwan told AFP.
"My officers are now trying to determine how the maid died and received the injuries consistent with a post-mortem finding of blunt force trauma," he said, adding the case has been classified as murder.
A string of worker abuse cases in Malaysia have strained relations with Indonesia and prompted Jakarta to temporarily ban sending domestic workers to the neighbouring nation since June last year.
Malaysia said last month it would set up a task force with Indonesia to look into the grievances of Indonesian maids, but expressed confidence the ban would be lifted in the next few months.
One of Asia's largest importers of labour, Malaysia depends heavily on domestic workers, with about 230,000 from Indonesia. But it has been criticised for not introducing legislation to enshrine their rights and conditions.