Thursday, 8 March 2012

Opinion piece on Malaysia

Time to reform Malaysia’s labour laws for foreign domestic workers

By Mar 06, 2012 4:42PM UTC

Despite the Indonesian embassy’s advice to its government to end the supply of domestic maids to Malaysia indefinitely, Malaysia’s Human Resources Ministry has assured households that the maids from Indonesia will arrive this April.

The Indonesian embassy, had on Sunday, told Malaysian media that it had advised its government to stop sending maids to Malaysia indefinitely, after fresh reports of maid abuse were made known.

A swift government response in assuring Malaysian households that the supply of Indonesian maids has not been cut off is a welcomed relief, at least temporarily; for those that have been on the waiting list for domestic helpers.

After all, it was not too long ago before Indonesia had lifted a moratorium on sending maids to Malaysia that lasted about two years, following the rampant cases of maid abuse reported here. The first batch of maids from Indonesia since the ban is lifted is supposed to arrive this month.

Yet, there is no denial that Indonesian domestic workers today have more choices in terms of countries to go to, and Malaysia is falling behind in terms of attractiveness as a work destination. This is due to not only because of the maid abuse cases, but also poor work conditions due to lack of law enforcement to protect these domestic helpers.

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