PETALING JAYA: Malaysia needs to start looking at other source countries for domestic helpers when Indonesia stops sending them to other countries in 2017.
Following the Indonesian government’s statement to halt supplying maids to foreign countries, Malaysian Maid Employers Association president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein urged the authorities to consider Myanmar and Cambodia.
“Malaysians should reconsider how much they depend on others to help out in their households.
“They can try training grown children or have an extended family member to care for children while parents are at work,” he said.
For apartment residents, he proposed a system where occupants take turns to care for young children from the same floor.
It had been reported that Indonesian Consul-General in Sarawak, Djoko Harjanto, said Malaysians would have to seek domestic helpers elsewhere when Indonesia stops supplying maids to the whole world by 2017.
He said the new policy, under its Domestic Worker Roadmap 2017, was announced by the Manpower and Transmigration Ministry about two years ago.
Indonesian Embassy Labour Attache Agus Triyanto had in May announced the republic’s intention to introduce a “live-out” maid system to replace domestic workers, in which they are recognised as “formal workers” employed for one specific task.
Under the proposed system, employers could hire a certified Indonesian cook, caregiver, babysitter or housekeeper at the national minimum wage of RM900 in Peninsular Malaysia and RM800 in Sabah and Sarawak.
Engku Ahmad Fauzi said Indonesian maids who still worked in Malaysia in 2017 must leave the country once their work permit expired, as the source country would not allow for a renewal.
Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan said it would look into renewing talks to get maids from Myanmar and China.
“We will discuss this with the Government as there is currently no approval to import maids from the two countries,” he said.
Raja Zulkepley said Pikap also hoped to persuade the Cambodian government to lift the ban on their maids to Malaysia.
Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies president Jeffrey Foo said it would continue to search for new source countries to supply maids.
“We should also consider hiring locals as domestic helpers. At the same time, Malaysians should not take things for granted and expect maids to do everything under one roof,” he said.