Last Monday, the Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar and Malaysian Human Resource Minister Dr. Shubramaniam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) regarding the protection of Indonesians Workers in Malaysia.
This MoU, which is an amendment of an MoU in 2006, would end a two-year freeze on Indonesian maids coming to work in Malaysia.Antara reported that the MoU will provide the workers with one day off every week, passport shall be kept by the worker and workers' salary, and the creation of a Joint Task Force that would deal with issues raised by employers and their employees.
Meanwhile, Malay Mail reported that the Malaysian Human Resources Ministry has assured that the MoU would enable Malaysians to pay only RM 4,511 fees to hire a maid.
However, a survey on 10 maid employment agencies in Malaysia showed that prospective employers would have to pay between RM 6,000 and RM 9,000 in fees to secure the services of a maid.
One maid employment agency said that it usually charged a RM 6,000 fee to start the application process. The prospective employer would then need to pay at least another RM 3,000 for other variables to bring the maid into the country.
Another agency explained that the RM 6,000 initial fee was fixed by its Indonesian counterpart, and the additional RM 3,000 for the levy, medical examinations and visa processing and “a small profit for our agency".
Currently, most Indonesian maids received an average monthly salary of RM 400. Indonesia had proposed the salary be raised to RM 800 a month but the Malaysian government had not agreed to it, insisting it be governed by market forces.
The joint task force that will be set up, among others, will look at salary issues based on demand and supply principles.
The Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies questioned the stipulatedfee of getting a maid from Indonesian agents, saying that the cost was unrealistic, especially to agents in Indonesia, as it had yet to be seen whether Indonesian agents are willing to send maids if they do not agree with the fee stated in the MoU.
I hope that our government would be very strict in allowing workers who will be send to work in Maid and make sure that they would be given enough time to learn and practice all the things that they will be doing there. Any maid supplying agencies that cannot fulfil their obligations should be banned.