Melaka Sessions Court, Melaka, Malaysia. Photo: Google Maps

A man and his wife pleaded not guilty at a Sessions Court in the Malaysian city of Melaka on Friday to abusing their domestic worker by failing to pay her salary for at least six months.

Chan Wei Min, 44, a salesman, and Tan Su-Lynn, 42, pleaded not guilty to trafficking of their maid, a 38-year-old Indonesian woman, for the purpose of forced labor, Sin Chew Daily (Malaysia) reported over the weekend.

Between October 5, 2016, and August 2 this year, the couple allegedly used the maid as forced labor at their home in Taman Kota Laksamana, a township in Central Melaka district, as they failed to pay her any salaries for at least six months, China Press reported, citing the court hearing.

According to Malaysian law, the maximum penalty for violating Section 12 of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Act of 2007 is a jail sentence of 15 years and a fine of not more than 500,000 ringgit (US$117,200).

The couple were released on 20,000-ringgit bail each pending the next court hearing on September 26, the New Straits Times reported.