Friday January 4, 2013
Indonesian maids costlier
By ISABELLE LAI
PETALING JAYA: Obtaining an Indonesian maid currently costs employers about the same amount it takes to hire a Filipina maid, said both maid agency and maid employer associations.
The Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein said maid agencies charged between RM8,000 and RM12,000 due to difficulties in securing a steady supply of maids.
Employers should check with the Human Resources Ministry to secure a trustworthy agency, he said.
“There are many agents who are not designated by the ministry. Because of the current supply situation, they victimise the employers,” he claimed.
He also urged the Government to put its foot down and enforce the one-off agency fee of RM4,511 fixed under the memorandum of understanding signed between Malaysia and Indonesia in May last year.
“The agencies claim they could not make money at RM4,511. But we have a record of 97 employers getting their maids at that price,” he claimed.
Engku Ahmad Fauzi also lamented the lack of awareness among Malaysian employers about the difference between obtaining a maid for household chores and a caregiver for children, the elderly or those with health problems.
The Malaysia National Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan dismissed the notion that maids could be obtained at that price.
“There is no way that maid agencies can follow this price, which is not inclusive of agency operational costs and supplier costs. Employers should work on a willing-buyer, willing-seller basis. We do not determine the price. We do not have the bargaining power, it is the suppliers in Indonesia,” he said.
Raja Zulkepley pointed out that both governments had already acknowledged that obtaining maids at this cost was “impractical and unreasonable”.
“We are now waiting for the review of the cost, and for the subsequent announcement. I think once this is resolved, the maid flow will start again and ease the situation.
“The new rate will be at a market rate that is reasonable to all parties and not extremely high,” he said.