The High Court yesterday ordered the former employers of Indonesian maid Nirmala Bonat to pay her RM129,147.20 in damages for abusing and injuring her 10 years ago.
Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid allowed the suit filed by Nirmala and also ordered Yim Pek Ha and her husband Hii Ik Ting, as the defendants, to pay RM10,000 in costs to the woman who came from Desa Tuapakas, Kota Kupang, Indonesia.
Siti Khadijah made the decision after Nirmala managed to prove her case against the defendants.
The sum of damages was for the injuries Nirmala had suffered on her breasts, back, arms, head, face, mouth and nose, besides the emotional stress.
The court, however, rejected Nirmala’s application for compensation with regard to medical expenses incurred, loss of ability to earn income and for transport costs.
In her written judgement which was distributed to the press yesterday, Siti Khadijah said Nirmala had suffered a lot of pain from the physical injuries inflicted upon her which had also caused her emotional strain.
“As a human being, anyone could imagine her pain when a hot iron was placed on both her breasts and her back,” she said, adding that Nirmala had not received treatment for her injuries but only took Panadol.
The Judicial Commissioner stated that Nirmala also had to endure embarrassment from pictures taken of injuries to her body, including her intimate parts, which were made public.
Also present at the proceeding was Yim, who is now serving her 12-year jail sentence at Kajang prison, and her husband. Both were represented by lawyers Chan Vy Sing and Lam Cheng Wun.
However, Nirmala who was represented by counsel M. Kavimani, was not present in court.
On January 28, 2010, Nirmala, 29, filed the suit against Yim, 46, and Hii, 48, for injuries and pain she had suffered while under their employment as a domestic maid at the couple’s home in Villa Putera, Jalan Tun Dr Ismail after she was hired in September 2003.
Nirmala said that Hii failed to prevent his wife from physically abusing her and also failed to give her proper medical treatment for her injuries.
She claimed general damages for pain and suffering and special damages of over RM40,000 for loss of income, cost of medical treatment and other costs to be assessed by the court.
On October 1, 2012, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision of sentencing Yim to 12 years’ jail after finding her guilty on three counts of injuring Nirmala.