Last week, Indonesian media reports said that Indonesia would demand that Indonesian maids in Malaysia be paid a minimum of RM800 in monthly salary.
Many Malaysians, naturally disagreed, saying that that was way too steep.
I agree. Way too steep for unskilled workers whose food and accomodation and everything else, are taken care of by their employers.
What needs to be done is ensuring that these maids are not exploited.
Anyway, Human Resources Minister Dr S. Subramaniam said yesterday that the issue had not been officially raised by the Indonesians but if it was brought up, Malaysia would look into it.
And, I would urge Malaysia to not "melatah" and respond (favourably) so swiftly to the Indonesian demand.
I think, Indonesia is "playing" with us. What with the media hyped-up and whipped-up anger towards Malaysia in the republic, I'm not surprised this RM800 came about.
Anyway, the RM800 is not happening because the two countries had already agreed that the salary scale for the maids was to be determined by market forces under the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Malaysia and Indonesia.
So, any variations on the salary would necessitate a re-negotiation of the MoU.
Dr Subramaniam said they they discussed the Indonesian agency fee structure as well as the day off for the maids.
He said the single day off would only take effect after the amendments to the Labour Act 1955 are passed at the next Parliament sitting and gazzetted.
(source: The Star)