Don’t come to Malaysia illegally, warns envoy


Follow legal process: Using illegal channels puts individuals at risk of exploitation, says Indonesian ambassador. — AZMAN GHANI/The Star

PETALING JAYA: Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Hermono has advised his people not to accept employment as domestic workers in Malaysia through illegal means to avoid being exploited.

He wants them to only use the permitted One Channel System (OCS) as outlined under the Malaysia-Indonesia Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

“When they use other channels such as the Sistem Maid Online (SMO), they are at risk of exploitation and being trafficked by certain individuals.

“If they use other channels, we don’t have the data, their contact details, their work conditions and contract and even the data of the employers... so it will be risky for them,” he told The Star.

On April 1, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and Indonesia’s Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah signed the MOU in Jakarta on the Employment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers.

The OCS was agreed upon in the MOU to screen employers to ensure that only those eligible could hire Indonesian domestic workers at a minimum monthly salary of RM1,500.

The MOU also outlined, among others, the annual leave entitlement, the right to communicate and a ban on withholding passports of the maids.

Hermono said the MOU meant that all recruitment processes should be done via OCS and no other system should be used.

“One condition was to stop using the SMO and replace it with the OCS where there will be certain procedures and terms of recruitment and renewing permits for the domestic workers to comply with,” he said.

He added that if Malaysia complied with provisions of the MOU, then newly recruited Indonesian domestic helpers should not be granted work permits through the SMO.

“If there is evidence that they can obtain work permits through SMO, then this discredits the MOU,” he said.

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