Families disheartened over delay


PETALING JAYA: Families seeking to hire maids are disappointed over the delay of Malaysia’s pilot project to recruit 10,000 domestic helpers from Indonesia.

Sabrina Shabri, from Nilai, said she was disheartened and wanted to give up on hiring a new Indonesian maid after hearing the news.

“I have been looking for a new maid since last year after our previous one wanted to work elsewhere.

“I could not stop her and I still cannot find a new replacement,” said the mother of three, when contacted yesterday.

The pilot project hit a snag as the inking of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries – previously scheduled for Feb 7 and 8 – had been postponed.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan told The Star, however, that most of the pressing issues have been ironed out and he is confident that the MOU can be signed by the end of this month.

Sabrina noted the cost to hire a new Indonesian helper was very high due to the limited supply in the local market.

“The fees now could go up as high as RM16,000 but there is no guarantee that they will stay with us for a long time. I also had some bad experiences with the previous one.

“I hope Malaysia and Indonesia will resolve it soon,” she said.

Retired army officer Norisham Kamin, 46, said he, too, has been looking for a new domestic helper for quite some time.

He added that he only wanted a helper to take care of his children.

“They do not have to cook or do any extra chores. Just take care of my three children,” the businessman from Shah Alam said.

“If the government wants us to be with them, they need to ensure that our needs are fulfilled starting with our homes.

“How can we re-start our lives (after the downturn) if there are problems in our homes?

“The government needs to find a solution to address the shortages to ensure that we are not being charged exorbitantly, provided with good quality helpers and not manipulated by agents,” he added.

Another employer who wanted to be known as Chan, from Old Klang Road, said that he has been trying to hire a new domestic helper since the start of the movement control order in March, 2020.

“Our previous helper wanted to return to her hometown so we allowed her to do so.

“I thought we could hire one once the pilot project kick-started but it seems that we have to wait a little longer,” he said.

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