The Star (Malaysia) Friday March 7, 2014
SHAH ALAM: Isti Komariyah was a healthy 23-year-old when she came from Banyuwangi in East Java to work as a maid in the country.
She was 26 and weighed barely 26kg when she was taken to the University Malaya Medical Centre with bruises and scratch marks on her back, arms and forehead.
The starved Isti was declared dead upon arrival at the hospital.
Yesterday, her employers – a wiring consultant and his wife – were ordered to be sent to the gallows for her murder.
The High Court found Fong Kong Meng, 58, and his wife Teoh Ching Yen, 56, guilty of murdering Isti at their house in Sea Park, Petaling Jaya, near here.
The couple’s lawyer said they would be appealing against the verdict.
In her judgment, Justice Noor Azian Shaari said the victim died of starvation as a result of the couple’s failure to provide her food and medical treatment between May 14, 2010 and June 5, 2011.
The judge also noted that the victim’s weight had dropped drastically to 26kg at the time of her death.
The maid’s weight was 46kg when she first started working for the couple in 2008.
Justice Noor Azian said the defence had failed to rebut the prosecution’s submission on the cause of the victim’s physical condition and death, by producing a mere denial of the charge.
The trial commenced on July 30, 2012 during which 16 prosecution witnesses were called and six defence witnesses testified.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mohd Nordin Ismail, Suzana Abdul Latif and Muhammad Asyraf Md Kamal represented the prosecution while counsel Zaleha Al-Hayat and Thong Seng Kong defended the couple.
It was reported that the maid, who started working for the couple in December 2008, was brought by her employers to the hospital in Petaling Jaya on June 6, 2011 but died upon arrival.
Yesterday, as the death sentence was pronounced, the couple’s 17-year-old twin children (a son and a daughter) appeared calm and did not show much emotion as they sat in the public gallery.