Indonesia: Rage Over Death of Maid in Saudi

Indonesians reacted strongly when it was reported that Ruyati, 54, a migrant worker from West Java, was beheaded in Saudi Arabia last month. The woman was found guilty of killing her employer, who Ruyati claimed had abused her.

Aside from condemning the action taken by the Saudi government, Indonesia has banned the sending of maids to Saudi until a new agreement is signed that would protect the rights of migrants and maid workers.

Here are some reactions from the blogosphere. Pipi questioned why parents are allowing their daughters to work as maids in another country:

Ruyati was beheaded on June 18.

Ruyati was beheaded on June 18.

It’s just a matter of time before people start asking “What in the world are Indonesian men doing with their life, so bad that they have to send their women to Saudi Arabia?” In a country where men and women are not allowed to work together, we are sending our women to live together with men as their employer. In a country where women were forced to remain in their “proper place” our women are being treated not so proper after all. Now that we know it, what are we going to do?

This tweet became popular after news of the beheading was leaked out:

Why bother going for a pilgrimage (Hajj) to a country that can only execute beast-like punishments?

Yuke doesn’t agree with the tone of the message:

I have no rights whatsoever to choose the holy land, and make an obligation to make a sacred journey there. Thus making a correlation between governmental/law system and pilgrims embargo would be like finding a missing link between calculus and donkey. Think the way she thinks, anti-Americans will decide to stop doing pilgrimage to McDonalds and Starbucks, or anti-semitists refuse using Microsoft Windows because most people think Gate’s a Jewish and buy Mercedes Benz instead.

Multibrand hopes the government would be more aggressive in protecting the rights of migrant workers:

I hope that from now on our government would pay much more serious attention on our workers who are working abroad, i.e. conclude agreements with foreign governments that provide strong protection for our workers working in their countries, make sure that they are well trained and skilled before they are send abroad. All of which is necessary because our workers abroad contributed big amount of foreign currency to our country.

Colson criticizes the beheading:

And punishments should be in accordance with human rights.

However this is a disgusting regime, a desert culture, suffering from an arrogant attitude towards women, a contemptuous attitude towards minorities and a cruelly outdated justice system.

The country's population deserves much better – a touch of the Arab spring for instance.

Governments of all civilized countries should condemn loud and clear this execution and put political pressure on Saudi Arabia to modernize .

(Unfortunately all will keep silent: Saudi Arabia controls the ( oil) lifeline of the capitalist countries and the spiritual lifeline of Islam countries).

Unspun clarifies that the apology of Saudi officials was not about the beheading but its failure to inform Indonesian authorities about the execution:

Misleading headline: The Saudi government only apologized for not informing beforehand about the execution, not about executing the maid. The real problem is the beheading, not so much the lack of diplomatic niceties.

Jack Lato is disappointed over the president’s failure to promote the welfare of migrants:

A PROMISE is a commitment. That’s why, a promise coming from a feudalistic authority such as Indonesia’s, remains questionable until proven. Still, many Indonesians, particularly migrant workers who in many cases find themselves helpless in poverty without any access to justice, broke down in tears on hearing the elegant promises soundly expressed by our president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.


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