Monday, March 19, 2007

The fault lies with the Indon maid agencies (Malaysiakini)

The fault lies with the Indon maid agencies
Mar 19, 07 4:28pm

I refer to Alex Ong's letter, Maid agencies fees are ‘exploitative’. I would like to point out a couple of things.

Unless my understanding of the way things work is completely warped, the reason why Malaysians end up paying between RM5,000 and RM6,000 is no real fault of the Malaysian maid agencies. From countless talks with the maid agencies, the problem lies with the Indonesian side.

Yes, the RM2,415 is the maximum that the local agent can charge an employer. But there is also a figure of RM1,228 that the maid has to pay the Indonesian agent. Most times the RM1,228 cannot be paid by the maid so it is passed on to the employer in the form of an advance that is deducted monthly from the maid's salary by the employer.

By right, the real price an employer should be paying including this advance is RM3,643.

What happens now is the middlemen in Indonesia are inflating this figure of RM1,228 to RM2,200 and upwards for whatever reasons. Be it corruption in the process of drafting maids from everywhere in Indonesia or that other countries in the region can afford it.

Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho himself has admitted that lack of cooperation from the Indonesian side is the issue.

If what Ong is trying to point out is a collusion between the Indonesian agent and the local agent here to share this money - then that is another shade of truth that I have no information about.

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