Monday, March 05, 2012

The Maid Story

Just over the weekend, there was a report, quoting Indonesian embassy Information, Social and Cultural Affairs Minister-Counsellor Suryana Sastradiredja saying that the embassy had advised its government to suspend the sending of maids to Malaysia indefinitely although the maids had begun their compulsory training this month.

He said it was because of reports that two maids were physically abused by a senior government official and his wife, and that the two victims were also not paid salaries.

Apparently, one of the maids had sought shelter at the embassy last Friday night, while the other had been asked to return home earlier by the official’s wife.

So far there has been no police report lodged.

Read the New Sunday Times report here.

Today, deputy human resource minister Maznah Mazlan said that the delay in the arrival of the maids had been deferred to April 1, from March 1 earlier.
But this is not because of the alleged abuse case of two Indonesian maids.

This is because the maids have not undergone the mandatory 200-hour training.

She told reporters that that was why the Labour Department and the Indonesian government had postponed the arrival date by a month.

Bernama, quoting Maznah said the training was part of the requirements for Indonesian maids to come to Malaysia under the new regulations, besides the requirement for employers to submit their profiles.
Malaysia and Indonesia had also agreed to have a working contract for domestic maid and the cost of recruiting Indonesian maid fixed at RM4,511.
Maznah said that the ministry was coordinating with 12 employment agencies in Indonesia to bring in the maids.
"So far, 128 employers in the country have submitted their applications to the agencies concerned," she added.
She said those wanting to employ domestic helpers could do so by surfing for further information.

If you ask me, well and good if we can still source maids from Indonesia. But I believe the government should SERIOUSLY work on finding long-term solutions to help Malaysians deal with this issue of domestic help. It affects thousands of families.

We cannot be doing this forever. There must be a cut-off point somewhere. The government should work with related agencies to find a solution -- like setting up creches in work-places, establishing good and reliable nurseries and child care centres in housing and residential estates and so on.

In this respect, the government must know that we hardly look like a progressive nation.


Anonymous said...

Agree with you. Why are we relying on other people, otherwise we cannot move. Why cant the government upgrade domestic helper equivalent to kindergarten teacher and encourage locals to fill in the jobs. There are many ways to do. We should be a progressive nations by now.

bruno said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

NS, there is a deeper problem. The ministry in charge of maids r too deadset on a one way street solution. They have been braindead in looking out for better ways to handle the problem. As per your suggestions and there's been many more sent to them, but they r not interested.
How can a government allow itself to be held to ransom by maids problem? Why should a country allow itself to be held to ransom? MAlaysians themselves have to stop being pathetic and act on the problems. The govt can provide various solutions, if it wants to. There's no shortage of ideas, esp from women. Bet many have been sent and as usual ignored.

Please also remove the incompetent minister. He's been there too long and with no ideas. Put the deputy in charge.

Why r we dancing to the tune of the Indonesians ill intentions towards Malaysians. Indons are determined not to be our friends. If they cant beat with us on the football pitch and our harmony, this is how they do it- thru their poor women - thru the maids we employ.Yes they will highlight some of the bad apples amongst employers here , but we fight shy of the nightmares of what MOST maids, MOST ,yes , have caused our families. Why r we fighting shy of highlighting that in Indonesian media. Some maids r really part of a well planned syndicate to prey on unsuspecting malaysian families- and husbands.

So for heavenssake la, if we can have training centres in indonesia, we should also have them in Cambodia , myanmar etc etc. Okay i will say NOT china la, as my victim -friends will scream at me. Since they end up heading faster for employer's husband or the GROs queue. You cant spot them amongst the chinese'students', different cup of chinese tea, my chinese friend wud say.My friend said the trouble with asking chinese husband to look for chinese maid is that husband already make 'pit stops' with chinese maid before bringing maid home!

At least the Cambodian maids r more honest than the Indon maids, and less conspiracy from them. Indon maids- dont turn your back, if you do, look out, you will end up looking at an empty room if you so happen to need them in the middle of the night. Ok la not all , but darn, my friends n I keep getting those types..

N why should Indon be a a derogatory word? Some of us have been referrign to friends from Indon as Indon since ions ago and there's never been a problem. So please tell the govt dont go bending over backwards, and backwards to kow tow to Indonesians. The embassy itself have snakes too. You will always find maids coming back n telling stories how one or two officers will try and instigate them ask for this ask for that. Maybe the officers should first declare how much they pay their maids and how they treat their own people as maids- for a change? Have you heard the untold versions? Huh, so full of tricks la.


Anonymous said...

i say all future employers should go for training on how to treat their maids like human being. make it a 200-hr session so they will never forget.

Anonymous said...

Agree with you ! but then again malaysians can be a cruel lot....
Have seen it with our eyes that this maids are pushed to their limits.
Really its sad that we can treat a fellow human being in the most despicable ways FOR A FEW HUNDRED RINGGITS !
Its a form of high class slavery if you ask us.We have to understand being poverish doe'nt not means we can bully.
Unless there is change from within the government with higher penalties for offenders we will see no improvements..

This comment has been removed by the author.

This comment is from Bruno, Dear Bruno, I have left your comment intact, except for your second last line which I took the liberty to delete and put XXXXX.
Hope you don't mind. Thank you.

Bruno said...

Nuraina,first of all Indonesia is such a huge country with a large population that it is difficult for the government to be able to look after all of them.Although it has improved leaps and bounds,it is not as advanced as Malaysia.

Some of the people are so poor that it is hard to imagine.But the Indonesian Malays are a more liberal people than our Malaysian Malays.Liberal in a way that they are free to socialised and work in any places of occupation that they wanted.There is no such thing as the religious authorities,Rela or the Ali twins raiding the places Muslims worked in.

I have known real Indonesian Malays who are Christians.Sat with Muslim policemen and soldiers drinking beer and having dinner in Chinese coffee shops.In fact the beers and cigarettes are so cheap in Indonesia,as they say the soldiers smoke and drink the most.

The reason the Indonesian women came to Malaysia to work as maids is because there are not enough jobs for them.And if there are they are mostly low paying jobs.Although they are not getting so much in Malaysia,it is better than over there.

But to work in a foreign country comes along all the abuses.Whether it is the long working hours,physical or sexual abuses.But a majority of them are in for a hardtime.They all know that,but they are still willing to take the risk to come over here.And their employers know that too.That is why they are taking advantage by bullying and abusing the maids.

It is not only that their employers or senior government officials physically abused them. XXXXXXXX Maybe only in Malaysia

bruno said...

Nuraina,no I do not mind at all.Thanks and have a nice day.



we have read reported cases of maid abuse and we all feel terrible -- angry that there are amongst us who abuse their maids.
we feel so sorry for the victims and are glad when justice is served.
at the same time, we want to tell them that not all malaysians are cruel people.

cruel people are everywhere -- abuse of maids and workers is not peculiar to malaysia...come on...

in indonesia....lagi dahsyat-lah abuse of domestic helpers.

however -- i have heard HORROR stories of Indonesian maids.

I've said it before and I'll say it again -- THERE ARE MORE BAD MAIDS THAN THERE ARE BAD EMPLOYERS.

becos i know of many very good employers who treat their maids well.
in some cases, their maids take advantage of their kindness.

I believe that we should move on...move forward and work on solutions to this problem. If we want to be a high-income nation, then we cannot be depending on another country for domestic helpers etc...

see...indonesia has shown signs that it can hold us to ransom - using this maid employment.

this will be a problem for as long as we don't work towards finding a long-term solution

Anonymous said...


Heard some news from Singapore while in JB.

Now it is compulsory for employer in Singapore to give one day off for maid.

This I think is a good idea. Employers of maids should treat Indonesian maid as human not dirt.

I agree with you that the government should also focus on other means such as nurseries or day care centres. These centres also should be regulated so that it served it purpose well



hashimoto: that's true.