Time to Look Elsewhere for Maid Supply, Malaysia Says

Kuala Lumpur, 26 Sya’ban 1437/03 June 2016 (MINA) – Quit depending on Indonesia for maids, give serious thought to sourcing them from Cambodia – this, in short, is Malaysian National Association of Employment Agencies’ (PIKAP) suggestion to the Malaysian government.

With Indonesia and even the Philippines having made it rather clear that they do not want their women to work as domestic helpers in other countries from next year, it is time for Malaysia to look elsewhere for its maid supply.

PIKAP President Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan felt that Cambodia was the best choice for Malaysia as its people were known to be disciplined, courteous and gentle, while their culture and traditions were more or less similar to Malaysia’s.

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“Even our languages share some similarities,” he said, hoping that Malaysia and Cambodia could hasten the finalisation of a pilot scheme to bring in 500 Cambodian maids.

“It’s still at the negotiation stage… but I hope they can speed it up and implement the pilot project in July.”

Malaysia used to source for maids from Cambodia until 2011 when President Hun Sen put a stop to it following reports of abuse by Malaysian employers and Cambodian recruitment agencies.

However, last December the two countries signed another memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of Cambodian workers and domestic helpers, which outlined a more systematic process for the recruitment, hiring and repatriation of workers, and the protection of their rights.

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Maid Shortage

Raja Zulkepley said due to Malaysia’s dependency on Indonesia as its main source nation, it stood to face a severe shortage of maids should the republic go ahead with its plan to disallow its women from working as live-in maids in other countries from next year.

“If Indonesia implements this plan, it will have an impact worldwide, including Malaysia. It can affect our country’s productivity… as if this is not enough, other srce nations like the Philippines are also imposing various conditions for the hiring of maids,” he told Bernama, recently.

The Philippine government has also stated its intention to stop sending domestic helpers overseas in stages and it expects the practice to come to a full stop in 2017.

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With the two main suppliers aiming to sever their pipelines, how will Malaysia cope with the ensuing shortage of maids?

The Malaysian government is hoping that Indonesia will reconsider its decision on the maid issue. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said that Indonesia and Malaysia should have more detailed discussions on the matter and added that he would invite Indonesia’s Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri to Malaysia for talks. (T/R07/R01/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)