Pilot plan to ease maid shortage

PUTRAJAYA: A solution to the issue of Indonesian maid shortage is very much in sight.

Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to the recruitment of 10,000 Indonesian domestic workers starting next month.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said the recruitment, a pilot project, would start a week after the Memorandum of Understanding on the Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Domestic Workers (MOU PDI) is signed.

The MOU will be signed on Feb 7 and 8 in Bali, Indonesia.

“At today’s meeting, I saw the light at the end of the tunnel where the Indonesian and Malaysian governments share the same aspiration to champion the cause of immigrant workers and protect their rights.

“Malaysia in principle has agreed to introduce various measures to champion the cause of immigrant workers, especially from Indonesia,” he was quoted by Bernama as saying after the meeting with his Indonesian counterpart, Ida Fauziyah, in Jakarta.

In a statement, Saravanan explained that the pilot project was important to evaluate the effectiveness of implementing the MOU, which will be monitored by a special committee comprising representatives from both countries and address any weaknesses that may arise.

Saravanan said Indonesia had also agreed to allow the entry of 10,000 Indonesian workers for the plantation sector.

The recruitment of PDI was among issues that were agreed upon by both countries during a meeting between Saravanan and Ida Fauziyah to iron out and finalise issues concerning the MOU.

The minister said that it was also agreed that the “one maid-one house” system be implemented to replace the earlier proposed “one maid-one task”.

The policy where the Indonesian domestic helper can be employed to work in a household of not more than six people remains under the newly agreed system.

Saravanan said the meeting also agreed that the cost structure for recruitment of Indonesian workers would be studied every six months.

“This is to ensure that the costs are in line with the current situation, taking into consideration among others, flight fares and quarantine charges,” he said.

Malaysia and Indonesia also agreed on two other issues; the implementation of a one channel system which will be the single passage for the entry of Indonesian domestic workers to Malaysia.

The other issue which the meeting had come to an agreement on was wages for PDI but no details were provided on this.

Indonesia has been pressing for a new MOU to replace the one between both countries which expired in 2016.

Malaysia and Indonesia first signed an MOU on the Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Domestic Workers in 2006, which was amended in 2011 to last until 2016.

The agreement, among others, affirmed the right of the workers to hold their passports, communicate with their families, be provided with a weekly rest day and for their monthly wages to be paid into a bank account.

A standard employment contract was also provided, outlining the responsibilities of employer, worker and recruitment agency.

Malaysia is heavily dependent on Indonesian labour, from domestic helpers to construction workers.

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Indonesian maid , shortage , Saravanan , recruitment , MOU


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