Monday January 7, 2013
Papa: Families with greater needs to get first shot at employing domestic workers
By P. ARUNA
PETALING JAYA: Households in need of domestic workers to care for small children or elderly people will be given priority when the supply of Indonesian maids resumes, says the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa).
Papa vice-president Foo Yong Hui said the first batch of domestic workers, to be brought in at the recruitment fee of RM6,700, was expected to arrive after March.
“If their numbers are limited, we will give priority to families with small children or elderly folk.
“Potential employers must communicate their needs clearly to the agencies which they are dealing with,” he said.
Foo said maid agencies in Indonesia were comfortable with the new price structure and had agreed to start the recruitment process soon.
Papa announced on Friday that the Government had given it the green light to raise recruitment fees for Indonesian domestic workers to RM6,700.
The new fees are RM2,189 more than the RM4,511 decided in the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Malaysian and Indonesian governments in 2011.
Besides the new fee, employers would also have to pay an additional RM1,800 which could be deducted from the domestic worker's salary over the first six months of the contract.
Fewer than 100 maids were recruited after the agreements under the MOU were enforced and agencies cited the “unreasonable” fee of RM4,511 as the cause.
Employers hope that the new fees would improve the supply of maids but with Papa already having given notice that families with young children and elderly people would stand better chances of employing them, a mad scramble seems likely for the limited number of maids.
IT architect Shamini Prithivi Raj is among those lamenting the high cost of employing a full-time domestic worker.
She said she was now paying RM700 each month to send her child to a day care centre.
“After my baby-sitter moved, I tried to hire a maid but the fee was just too expensive,” she said, adding that she had been told by several agencies that it would cost between RM8,000 and RM10,000.
Shamini said that although RM6,700 was reasonable price, she would rather to go directly to the source country and get a worker without the help of middlemen.
“I have seen too many people get cheated by agencies and syndicates,” she said.
Malaysian employers have the option of bringing in domestic workers with tourist visas which can later be converted into work permits.
Those who wish to register for domestic workers with Papa can send a text message with their name, MyKad number and e-mail address to 1800 222 000.