'Forced to work 364 days a year'

Four women from China claim ill-treatment by boss in Malaysia

Force to work 364 days a year. Not paid since December. Fined RM 500 (S205) if not back in 45 minutes from grocery shopping...

Four Chinese employees of a reflexology centre in Balik Pulau, Penang, have raised these allegations against their boss.

One of the employees, Ms Wang Li Mei, 38, claimed that the boss, who was not named, treated them so poorly and that they have been working without salaries since last December.

"He was so cold and heartless," she sobbed when relating her predicament at the police headquarters in Balik Pulau on Wednesday.

She said she and three other women, all from Shandong, China, were forced to work from 11am to 1am the next day at the reflexology centre in Bayan Baru, The Star reported.

Ms Wang, together with Ms Jiang Yong Fen and Ms Zhang Ying, both 38, and Miss Duan Li Hong, 23, lodged police reports on Tuesday with the help of assemblyman Sim Tze Tzin.

All four of them had been working at the centre for about three years, the report said.

Police raided the centre on Tuesday and arrested a 36-year-old man, who has been remanded for four days.

The police said they are investigating the case under the Anti-Human Trafficking Act, Bernama reported. If convicted, the owner can be fined and jailed for up to 20 years.

Ms Wang said she even contemplated suicide. But she claimed that the only thing the boss told her was "go ahead". She said he even offered to "inform the Chinese Embassy after her death".

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