Thursday, October 1, 2009

Malaysia, Indonesia To Resolve Maid Supply Next Month

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 (Bernama) -- Malaysia and Indonesia will resolve the maid supply issue next month, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam.

He said several issues raised by both sides during two previous meetings in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur would be trashed out at the next meeting.

"I hope we can resolve the issues at the next meeting next month and Indonesian maids will be allowed to resume work in Malaysia," he told reporters after opening the 16th Confederation of Asean Journalists (CAJ) general assembly here on Thursday.

The Indonesian government had cut the supply of maids to Malaysia on June 25 following reports of maid abuse cases by employers.

In a meeting on Sept 2, Malaysia and Indonesia had agreed that the maids should be given one day off a week and to keep their passports.

On calls that Malaysia reduce dependency on foreign labour, Subramaniam said, the government shared the views as it ensured foreign workers be confined to certain sectors while locals be given preference.

"We are moving towards high-income economy. As our manpower is about 12 million, we need to optimise it by upgrading the skills of local workforce," he said.

Subramaniam said during the industrialisation era of the 70s, most industries banked on semi-skilled workers.

"But this had to be discontinued, firstly, due to shortage of labour, and secondly, our education level had risen and job seekers no longer want to take up low-skilled jobs.

"We are facing the challenges in transforming our industrialisation towards high-skilled labour and simultaneously the workers will earn high income," he said. -- BERNAMA

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