Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Move to get talks on maids going

SERDANG: Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam will try to resolve the delay in the pending joint working group meeting to discuss the ban on Indonesian maids in the next Cabinet meeting.

He said he would bring the matter up during the meeting to reach a solution as soon as possible because the meeting was supposed to solve outstanding issues with the Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Ministry.

“We will discuss this in the Cabinet and try to sort out the complications behind the delayed meeting,” he told reporters after visiting the Akademi Antarabangsa Clipso at South City Plaza Tuesday.

Dr Subramaniam said this when asked to comment on claims that the delay in solving the maid issue was due to Malaysia’s insistence that a cost structure on wages and agency fees be agreed to beforehand.

The meeting was supposed to be held on July 15.

Dr Subramaniam said he would also discuss with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to extend the ministry’s programme to train Indian youths in hairstyling and other fields in the service sector.

A previous allocation of RM20mil had been given to the ministry to train local Indian youths in hairstyling as the industry was dominated by workers from India.

“In the long run, the programme would be able to reduce the dependency on foreign labour and also prevent Indian youths from getting involved in social ills,” he said, adding that the programme would phase out the 2,400 foreign Indian workers in the hairstyling industry.

He expressed hopes that local youths would be given the chance to excel in the field.

Dr Subramaniam said the ministry, with its RM30mil allocation under the second stimulus package, had also approved about 200 training institutions to prepare school leavers and unemployed graduates in the fields of hospitality, beauty and heavy industries, like welding and plumbing.

“We still have vacancies in these training institutions. Those interested may visit the ministry’s website at http://www.mohr.gov.my,” he added. - The Star.

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