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Siblings held over Indonesian maid death in Malaysia

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By Agence France-Presse

A brother and sister have been arrested over the death of a young Indonesian maid who was allegedly abused in Malaysia, police said Monday.

Malaysia is a magnet for migrant workers but salaries are low and employees are not protected by labour laws.

In recent years the country has seen a series of cases involving mistreatment of domestic workers including deaths.

Police identified the victim as a 21-year-old called Adelina who had been working in Malaysia for two years.

Her head and face were swollen and she had wounds to her hand and legs, a police document said.

A woman and her brother, both in their 30s, are under investigation following the deatht in northern Penang state, local police chief Nik Ros Azhan Nik Abdul Hamid told AFP.

Adelina died on Sunday in hospital a day after she was rescued by a migrant workers’ protection group, local reports said.

Malaysia relies on an estimated two million Indonesians who toil in plantations, in construction, in factories and in homes –- both legally and illegally.

In 2014 a Malaysian couple were sentenced to hang for starving their Indonesian maid to death.

Two years earlier a Cambodian maid was starved to death by her employers, who received a 24-year jail sentence.

Malaysia has taken some steps to improve the welfare of domestic workers, including requiring them to have at least one day off a week and increasing minimum monthly salaries to 700 ringgit ($176). But activists say enforcement is difficult. (AFP)