Malaysian woman faces life in jail for Indonesian maid attack

Kuala Lumpur - A Malaysian woman faces life in jail after being charged Friday with the attempted murder of her Indonesian maid who was gruesomely beaten, according to court documents.

There has been a string of maid abuse incidents including the deaths of domestic workers in Malaysia in recent years.

In the latest case, 19-year-old Suyanti Sutrinso was attacked with a kitchen knife and hit with a metal mop and an umbrella last Wednesday by 43-year-old Rozita Mohamad Ali, the chargesheet said.

Suyanti sustained injuries to her eyes, head and right lung.

Other injuries included blood clots on her brain and a broken cheekbone.

"... the injuries could result in the death or severe trauma and with that you (Rozita) have committed an offence under Section 307 of the Penal Code," the chargesheet said.

If found guilty, Rozita could either face life imprisonment or a 20-year-jail term.

Rozita, who was freed on bail, pleaded not guilty to the charge, her lawyer Rosal Azimin told AFP. He said his client, who was unwell, sought a "speedy trial".

The court has set February 7 to fix the trial date.

One of Asia's largest importers of labour, Malaysia depends heavily on domestic workers, mainly from Indonesia, but has been criticised for its lack of action to protect their rights and regulate their working conditions.

Indonesian maids typically work seven days a week for as little as 600 ringgit (S$193) a month.