Wednesday, September 9, 2009

RM800 too much for maids, says Cuepacs

By LESTER KONG, CHEW WAN YING and JOSHUA FOONG

PETALING JAYA: It is unfair to propose that foreign maids to be paid RM800 when some government servants are only getting RM600 as their starting monthly salary, Cuepacs president Omar Osman said.

“It’s just not fair. Some locals working in the private sector do not even receive RM800. How can we accept foreign maids receiving RM800 as a starting salary?” he said, adding that foreign maids should receive not more than RM550.

Fomca secretary-general Muhammad Sha’ani Abdullah said the proposed increase in wages for Indonesian maids was also a consumer issue.

He suggested a better structure to control charges imposed on employers. “The mechanism is not ironed out now. Different agencies are charging differently. The whole thing is not transparent,” he added.

Maids agencies around the Klang Valley charge RM7,500 to RM9,000 in service fees and advance wages for the maids. Currently, new maids are paid between RM500 and RM560.

However, he said it was justifiable for consumers to pay more according to the proficiency of maids.

“Some complaints to the National Consumer Complaints Centre (NCCC) highlight that the maids are not well trained despite guarantees by agencies that they had undergone the required courses.”

Agensi Pekerjaan Sri Kanti Sdn Bhd director Lai Hong Ming, 51, said employers were not willing to fork out RM800 for an Indonesian maid because of the quality of the maids at the moment.

“If they were to raise the wages to that amount, the quality of the maids should be the same as the ones who are sent to the Singaporean market, which means they should have a higher education level.”

This year, there have so far been 70 complaints over maids lodged with the NCCC.

In 2008, there were 200 complaints. Indonesians, who make up 70% of the maid population in Malaysia, receive the lowest wage compared to Cambodian and Vietnamese maids. - The Star

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