Monday, March 12, 2007

Maids are no cheaper now (Star)

Maids are no cheaper now

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Government’s promise of cheaper Indonesian domestic help has never materialised, as Indonesian maid agencies continue to refuse to reduce their rates.

Deputy Home Affairs Minister Datuk Tan Chai Ho said the Indonesian Government was having a tough time getting agencies there to abide by the rates agreed to in the MoU signed by both governments last November.

“The agents there find it difficult to provide maids at the agreed amount and we have not been able to come up with any solution or new agreements yet,” he told The Star.

In the MoU, it was agreed that Malaysian employers would pay RM2,415 to the local agent while the maid would have to come up with RM1,228 to pay the agent in Indonesia.

Should the maid be unable to come up with this amount, the employer would pay an advance, which would then be deducted from the maid’s salary (up to 85%) every month.

Although Malaysian agents are currently charging RM2,415 as their fees, employers have complained that they are paying between RM5,000 and RM6,000 to hire a maid.

It is understood that this is because the Indonesian agents are charging the maids between RM2,000 and RM4,000 for their passage to Malaysia.

Tan said that a major factor preventing the Indonesian agents from reducing their fees for Malaysia-bound maids was that employers from other countries were able to afford such prices.

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