Indian widow loses salary in Malaysia, daughter back home

Saturday, January 1, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR - The misery of an Indian widow, deprived of her salary in Malaysia, was compounded as her teenaged daughter committed suicide after the woman failed to send her school fees on time.

Latha Shanmugam, 37, a widow from Thanjavur in Tamilnadu, was employed by a Malaysian family when she came to Kuala Lumpur in 2009 with a promised salary of RM 750 ($243) a month.

However, the employers reportedly held back her salary for four months, claiming that they had to pay RM 5,000 ($1,621) to her employment agency, Makkal Osai, a Tamil daily reported here.

Latha left the job and later worked as a restaurant helper in Taman Maluri. Her new employer paid her wages for the first month but allegedly refused to give her any salary for the ensuing six months.

Latha said she worked in the restaurant for eight months before her employer gave her RM 2,200 ($648) and asked her to leave.

In the meantime, her eldest daughter, aged 18 and studying in Chennai, had been pestering her to send Rs.10,000 for her school fees. Her two other daughters, aged 15 and seven, study in their village schools.

Latha said her daughter took her own life due to shame as her name was put up on the school’s notice board for non-payment of fees.

Latha said a taxi driver helped her to meet a social worker, who is making arrangements for her return to India, the Star newspaper reported quoting the Tamil daily report.

Malaysia is home to 2.1 million ethnic Indians, a bulk of them are Tamils.

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