Maid agencies can still charge same rates


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Aug 2005

SHAH ALAM: Maid agencies can continue to charge employers the market rates for service fees pending the completion of a study on the implications of the recently announced RM2,500 cap. 

Announcing this yesterday, Home Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said that what was happening now was a “willing seller, willing buyer” situation. 

“We will leave the situation as it is, until we make a further decision,” he said after presenting letters of appointment to the first batch of 210 government officers enlisted to oversee internal security here yesterday. 

Azmi was commenting on a recent report in The Star that maid agencies continued to charge the market rate for an Indonesian maid despite the Government’s directive that the fee be capped at RM2,500 from Aug 1. 

Association of Foreign Workers Agencies (Papa) vice-president Jeffrey Foo had said the RM2,500 fee was below cost. 

Azmi said the ministry was considering allowing female refugees in the country to be employed as domestic maids. 

“The Cabinet has agreed to allow refugees to be absorbed into the workforce. 

“I will work with (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Datuk Nazri Abdul Aziz on the mechanism for this,” he said. 

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Malaysia, some 40,000 refugees have registered with them up to May. 

The Association of Foreign Workers Agencies has expressed its appreciation to the Government for “lending an ear” to the agencies’ plight.  

On the proposal to train refugees as maids, Foo said the idea was good but it would only be a temporary solution.  

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