Thursday, August 13, 2009

Govt wants lower maid fees

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia will push Indonesia to adhere to an agreement signed between the two countries in relation to fees imposed by maid agencies there.

In the memorandum of understanding signed in 2006, it was agreed that the agencies there fix the fees at RM3,600.

Currently, the fee for an Indonesian maid is between RM7,000 and RM8,000.

The issue of the procurement fee will be one of Malaysia's demands in talks with Indonesia scheduled this month, to iron out problems involving Indonesian maids. Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said Indonesian maid agencies were charging exorbitant fees for their services.

Dr Subramaniam said the agency fee was among the issues irking employers.

During the meeting, Indonesian authorities are expected to decide on whether to lift a temporary ban on sending maids to Malaysia, which was imposed on June 26.

The ban was imposed by the Indonesian government over the alleged abuse of Siti Hajar Sadli, 33, by her employer.

Subramaniam said isolated cases of abuse of Indonesian maids had given Malaysians a bad name even though statistics showed that more than 99 per cent were good employers.

Subramaniam also said that there were about 15,000 vacancies for unemployed youths and graduates in his ministry's job training and placement programme.

He said the government was spending about RM300 million on the programme but the response had been lukewarm.

"The main problem now appears to be that potential candidates are too fussy about leaving the comfort of their home surroundings to attend training. NST.

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