Thursday, September 10, 2009

At least RM600 now for Indonesian maids

By Farrah Naz Karim and Regina Lee

PUTRAJAYA: Indonesian workers who go to the Indonesian embassy to renew their passports will soon be told that the minimum salary for them in Malaysia is RM600.

Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Anifah Aman said he was informed about the matter by Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Tan Sri Gen (Rtd) Da'i Bachtiar in a discussion yesterday.

"However, he made it clear that if the employer and employee agree on the existing wage, they could continue their employment.

"Neither we, nor Indonesia practises minimum wages," he said after attending the breaking of fast hosted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for cabinet members and deputy ministers at Sri Satria yesterday.

At a separate press conference earlier, Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam said employers and agents had complained to the ministry that the Indonesian embassy had rejected the maids' passport renewals.

The embassy was alleged to have refused to renew the maids' passports if they were found to be earning less than RM600.

Even some maids had complained to the ministry.

"If their passports are not renewed, this means they cannot stay in the country to work.

"The Indonesian government appears to have made it a condition that their maids earn at least RM600 if they want their passports renewed."

Indonesian maids working in the country are currently making RM450 to RM600 a month. - NST

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