Malaysian families in dire need of domestic helpers

PETALING JAYA: Getting a hold of a foreign domestic maid has been quite a chore for Maisarah Yusni since she started working from home in March last year.

The 39-year-old accountant said despite searching high and low for a long-term Indonesian helper, none could commit to a long-term engagement.

Maisarah said she prefers Indonesians due to the ease of communication.

She said only short term helpers, who preferred to stay on their own, were available but many had issues with their visas or health.

“I personally consider them to be at high risk of exposure to the pandemic as they take public transportation,” said Maisarah who has two children – a two and four-year-old.

She noted it was difficult to find Malaysians willing to work as domestic helpers.

“We haven’t had much luck with locals. None are willing to live-in and their conditions are quite hard to meet, such as their wages and working hours,” she said.

Alliance for Safe Community chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said with the National Recovery Council (NRC) announcing the reopening of borders to accelerate the recovery of the tourism, he hoped the plight of Malaysians families waiting for almost two years to hire maids could also be expedited.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, the borders have been closed to most foreign travellers until now and many Malaysians are in a quandary as many families have to depend on the services of domestic helpers, who mostly come from overseas.

“However, due to the ban on hiring foreign workers until the end of this year, agencies are not able to assist employers who wish to hire maids, and the government has yet to make any announcements on this,” he said.

He noted his wife and him also needed help at home but were caught in the same predicament.

“We are one of the many, many families affected by this freeze on hiring maids.

“I sincerely hope the NSC and the Home Ministry can consider allowing maid agencies to bring in domestic helpers,” he said.

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