What I want to write about here is on the frontpage of The Star which says, The maids are here. Yes, maids or househelp from Indonesia are once again allowed into Malaysia after three (long) years. I said 'long' because for households or employers who need domestic help, either to help with the children, infirm spouse, parents or siblings, a wait-time of three years is a long wait. It must be such a relief to be able to get some help finally.
After Jakarta decided to lift the freeze on maids to Malaysia on Dec 1 last year, the first batch of maids arrived four days ago. In a special ceremony (must be a first in the house-help category) yesterday, 29 women from East Java were introduced to their employers. They will begin work immediately.
Jeffrey Foo, president of the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies, said the maids were returning after a memorandum of understanding between Malaysia and Indonesia was signed in May last year and finalised in November. The MoU ensured the well-being of the maids, especially with regard to the payment of salary and scope of duties.
The MoU covers the following clauses, among others:
- The employer is now obliged to open a special account for the maids to remit their salary, which will be monitored to ensure there is no manipulation. The bank book will be kept by the maid to assure that the wages are being banked in.
- The duties of the maid are confined to household tasks, however as to whether to accept the additional responsibility of looking after a child or a senior citizen is entirely up to the maid. (Employers are not allowed to force a maid to look after a toddler or a senior citizen or lodge a complaint if she was found to be inefficient in carrying out the task because it is not part of her expertise.)
- A maid would get one day off a week which need not be during the weekend. Request for work on a rest-day would entail the maid being paid RM27 for the day's work in addition to her monthly salary of RM700.
The fee for hiring a maid is now RM4,511. The employer pays RM2,711 to the agent while the maid puts up RM1,800.
Foo said the fee would be revised upwards after this batch, which is subject to government approval, but the association would try to keep it below RM7,000.
Source: The Star..Maids return after three years