Malaysian police are still searching for two men who robbed and raped a young Vietnamese woman last week while her family struggles to cover the cost of her care at Seberang Hopsital in Penang.
The 24-year-old victim is very weak and panicked according to her mother Nguyen Thi Hong Thuy, who spoke to Thanh Nien over the phone on Wednesday.
Thuy said she's caring for her daughter's child and asked that she not be named. The family lives in the poor North-Central Province of Nghe An.
She said her daughter left for Malaysia last July to take a job at a jewelry company in Penang.
There, she reportedly befriended Hoang Viet Vuong, also a Nghe An native.
After learning that the victim planned to return to Vietnam due to her low salary, Vuong asked her to come stay with him and got her a job at a nearby restaurant.
The pair allegedly shared a rented room with several of their colleagues.
Vuong says that at roughly 10AM on January 27, soon after he left for work, two Malay kicked through a thin plywood wall and entered from the neighboring apartment.
One man began ransacking her room for valuables while the other began choking and raping her.
Then, they took turns kicking her in the face and abdomen before holding her head in a bucket of water until she passed out.
Vuong returned at 4PM to find his roommate unconscious, wet, black and blue on the floor of their room.
After administering CPR, he took her to a nearby hospital.
Soon after doctors began treating the battered woman, Vuong called her mother, Thuy, who was working in Johor more than 300 kilometers away.
He then contacted the local police and the Vietnamese Embassy.
Vuong said he gave the police clear descriptions of the man who rented the adjacent room and another man who frequently visited him.
After regaining consciousness, the victim said the men had taken her iPhone and some jewelry worth around US$560.
Her treatment costed around $340 per day--a cost that has weighted heavily on her family.
Thuy said she's had to borrow money from friends.
Representatives from Vietnam's embassy in Kuala Lumpur visited on Tuesday and donated 200 ringgits ($56) to the family.
Minister Counselor Ton Thi Ngoc Huong told Thanh Nien that the embassy staff is working with local officials to protect the woman’s rights.