CHAN LI JIN of Batu Caves (via e-mail) writes:
THE temporary ban on maids from Indonesia brought about mixed feelings among those who have maids or who intend to get maids later.
Many households now depend on domestic maids as both parents are working. And often, employers resign themselves to their maids’ incapability as an attempt to maintain peace in the home.
It has come to a point where people say that we “can’t live with them, but can’t live without them”.
Although I sympathise with the maids who have been abused by their employers, I cannot help but sympathise more with the people who have hired maids but have been let down.
The increasing number of runaway maids is one testimony of that fact. Although it used to be thought that maids who run away are mistreated, it is no longer true as more and more have pre-conceived plans to run away as soon as they arrive in Malaysia.
The move by the Indonesian government to ban maids from going out of the country as domestic maids should be seen as a positive sign by employers as it shows that steps are finally being taken for some form of control.
Maids who come and go from Malaysia are often unregulated and even maid agencies admit that domestic maids can easily re-enter our country using a different name and passport.
What the Indonesian government should do is to ensure that the people who apply for positions of domestic maids are really interested in working as maids, at least until their two-year contract expires.
I believe this would bring about less employer-maid conflicts.