Saturday, September 5, 2009

Solution to maid issue

KUALA LUMPUR: The government is hopeful that tomorrow's meeting with Indonesia will reopen the door to Indonesian maids wanting to work in Malaysia.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said this was because both parties had reached a general agreement on most of the issues at their previous meeting on Aug 20.

He said the Working Committee on the Recruitment and Placement of Maids would meet in Jakarta tomorrow to iron out the remaining issues.

Speaking after handing out Social Security Organisation (Socso) claims totalling RM466,000 to 34 people here yesterday, Subramaniam said he expected an agreement to be reached tomorrow regarding the issues of payment, salary and agent rates.

"However, these are not major issues, so they can be settled quite easily."

Subramaniam said the government was ready to resolve the matter as Indonesian maids were valuable to Malaysia being the first choice for most people.

"On our side, we are positive that we have made the necessary changes, including allowing a day off which initially did not go down well with our employers.

"We've no choice but to manage all these tricky issues to enable the continued availability of Indonesian maids although we want the maids to remain affordable to the employers."

Subramaniam said maids and their employers could specify in their work contracts based on ministry guidelines on the allowance the maid was to be paid if she agreed to work on her weekly off day.

He said the one-off-day ruling would come into effect sometime next year following the amendments to the Employment Act 1955 at the next Parliament sitting.

Indonesia stopped its nationals from coming to Malaysia to work as maids two months ago following the reported abuse of one of them. - NST

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