Mi Kun Thow (not her real name) is an asylum seeker from the Mon State in Myanmar. She is 40, although you might mistake her for someone quite a few years younger, given her small build and smooth skin. She told me the exact date that she had “trouble with gangsters” in Malaysia. It was the 5th of June, 2006. Back then, she was working with her husband – together they took care of a small chicken farm on the outskirts of one of the bigger towns in Malaysia. They lived in a small wooden house in the farm.

That day, at around midnight, 4 men came on motorcycles and banged on their door, shouting that they were the police and demanding to be let in. When Mi Kun and her husband did not open the door, the 4 men broke it down. With two of them holding her husband down, they ransacked the place, taking all of their savings and a handphone. The two not holding her husband then proceeded to tear of Mi Kun’s clothes and took turns raping her.

“After about an hour, my husband managed to break free and started to fight back, so the two men raping me went to my husband. They left me, so I ran into the forest and hid under a palm oil tree all night.” At this point Mi Kun voice broke and tears welled in her eyes. She paused for a long time, trying to regain her composure.

“I waited until it was dawn. I went back to the hut because I had no clothes on. My husband was not there anymore. I thought the men had killed him. I put on some clothes and went to my employer’s house, but I couldn’t speak the language so I couldn’t really tell them what happened.”

“After five days, I found a construction site with workers from Myanmar. I asked them for help. They told me that I couldn’t stay with them because they were all men. They told me to go to the UNHCR office in Kuala Lumpur….”

“… the UNCHR officer asked if I wanted to make a police report. I told them yes. We went back to the town but I couldn’t tell them where it was exactly because I didn’t know the roads. They took me back to Kuala Lumpur and handed me over to a refugee organisation.”


picture of her youngest daughter

Mi Kun spent several months at the Mon Refugee Organisation, until she managed to get a job washing plates and cleaning tables at a restaurant. After her second month, she was laid off work because she didn’t have a work permit. She then stayed with a friend, until one day she received the amazing news that her husband is still alive but in Thailand.
Borrowing money from friends and relatives, she paid the passage for him and her two daughters. Now, after more than a year, they are again reunited.

(read the story of what happened to her husband and why they had to run away from Mon State in the story of Nai Roy Mon)