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Indonesian maid flees abuse with daring highrise escape in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR -- An Indonesian maid climbed out the window of a 22nd floor apartment in Malaysia to escape an abusive employer, the second such incident in two months, an official and a news report said Tuesday.

The 22year-old woman from Java island was brought to the Indonesian Embassy after her highrise getaway in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's biggest city, said embassy official Eka Suripto.

Suripto said the maid alleged her employer started to kick and beat her with a cane in May, one month after she came to Malaysia to work.

"She was beaten with a rattan stick," Suripto said. "Her lips are swollen and on her left thigh she has a bruise ... certainly she is in a trauma because she escaped through the window."

A neighbor saw the maid climb through the 22nd floor window and called a security guard to rescue the maid from a 17th floor ledge, The New Straits Times reported. Suripto could not confirm those details.

In June, another Indonesian maid climbed out the window of her employer's 15th floor apartment with a rope made of towels, sheets and clothes before being rescued by firefighters.<>P>That widely publicized escape focused public attention on abuse faced by many Indonesian maids in Malaysian homes. Some 300,000 Indonesian maids work in the country.

Officials have said mistreatment of domestic helpers is not widespread. But some 1,200 Indonesian maids run away every month, often because of abuse or dissatisfaction with long working hours, a lack of freedom of movement, or unpaid salaries.

Malaysia relies heavily on foreign laborers mainly Indonesians for menial work, including construction and plantation jobs.

//The Jakarta Post/Indonesia

Asia News Network (ANN)

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