Page last updated at 13:22 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Indonesian poisoning maid jailed

Former Indonesian maids in the embassy in Kuala Lumpu, Malaysia (23 June 2009)
Thousands of Indonesians work as domestic servants in Malaysia

An Indonesian maid has been jailed for six years in Malaysia for trying to murder her employer by putting weed killer in her coffee.

Nurhayati Ahmad, 22, pleaded guilty to poisoning 77-year-old Jaharah Daud, who recovered after hospital treatment.

Nurhayati Ahmad's lawyer said the maid acted as she could no longer stand being told off.

There are about 300,000 Indonesians working as domestic helpers in Malaysia and complaints of abuse are frequent.

In June, Indonesia said it would not send any more maids to Malaysia until the country addressed the problem.

Prosecutors said Ms Jaharah has complained that her coffee had turned grey and smelled strange.

Her daughter checked the coffee and also a soup that Nurhayati had made, before reporting the maid to the police on suspicion of poisoning.

Police later found two bottles of poison in the house, Malaysia media reported.

Nurhayati Ahmad's lawyer, Mohamad Fadl, said his client could not stand being scolded any more by her employer, the AP news agency reported.

Tens of thousands of foreigners are believed to work in Malaysia as domestic servants, many of them from Indonesia, and revelations about abuses have strained relations between the two countries.

Last year, a Malaysian woman was jailed for attacking her Indonesian maid with boiling water and a hot iron.

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