PUTRAJAYA: The Immigration Department has received zero applications for hiring of new foreign domestic helpers despite the go ahead for maid agencies to start the process while waiting for borders to reopen.
While it has been a month since the government announced this, the Immigration Department has not processed any fresh applications for foreign maids.
“We have been preparing to receive applications since the announcement was made but we have not received any (applications), ” said its director-general Datuk Khairul Dzaimee Daud (pic) when contacted.
He said there could be several reasons for this, including the country’s borders remaining closed.
“Perhaps the prospective employers do not want to pay agents in advance and are unsure when they can actually get the maid, ” he said.
Khairul Dzaimee said the process of hiring foreign domestic helpers remains unchanged and applications can also be done via online.
On March 30, Senior Minister (Security) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that following an appeal by the Foreign Maid Agencies’ Association, the government had agreed to allow them to process applications for the hiring of foreign maids.
The agencies appealed for them to be allowed to take in applications from now, arguing that the process of hiring foreign maids takes about four months to complete.
“We have agreed to allow the hiring process to be done but the maids can come to work in Malaysia only when we open our borders again, ” Ismail Sabri said.
The government has also allowed the return of foreign domestic helpers who have work permits but were stranded in their hometowns due to border closure.
Khairul Dzaimee revealed that the number of maids who went back to their home countries and returned to Malaysia was still low.
“They probably no longer want to work in Malaysia and would rather find income at home or elsewhere, ” he said.
Following appeals, foreign maids affected by the border closures when they returned to their hometowns for holidays, were allowed to return to work.
They will have to apply via the Immigration Department’s MyTravelPass for a green light to enter the country.
Upon arrival, the maids will have to undergo quarantine, with the cost to be borne by their employers.