By D KANYAKUMARI / Pic By AFIF ABD HALIM
The government of Malaysia assures that it will not cover up probes and incidents of abuse involving foreign workers in the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (picture).
Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia will not only protect anyone involved in such abuse cases on domestic workers, but also foreign workers here.
The government, he said, is committed to ensure that such incidents will not recur.
The home minister added that Malaysian envoy in Jakarta Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim was tasked to convey Malaysia’s four main stance on this issue in a meeting with Indonesian Human Resource Minister Muhammad Hanif Dhakiri yesterday.
“The first of the four messages is this abuse case that took place was an isolated one and it is uncommon for such incidents to happen here.
“Besides that, I have also given the assurance that Malaysia will never cover up any such incidence if it were to happen,” Ahmad Zahid said.
Ahmad Zahid also said he has requested for the Indonesian government to review the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia.
“The MoU on (Bilateral Labour Agreement) ended in 2016. So, we hope for it to be reviewed and for negotiations to take place between their Human Resource Ministry and us.
“Finally, I asked to convey that the Malaysian government is committed in ensuring such abuse cases do not take place as we both need each other. We need workers and they need work. If we work together, it’s a win-win situation,” said the home minister.
Last week, a 21-year-old Indonesian maid passed away in Penang, allegedly as a result of continuous abuse.
The victim, identified as Adelina, died at the Bukit Mertajam Hospital where she was warded after her employers took her to the police station.
Following her death, the Indonesian government announced that it is considering to ban in sending its citizens to work as a domestic helper in Malaysia.
In 2011, Indonesia lifted a ban imposed in 2009 on women going to Malaysia as domestic helpers following a string of abuse cases.
Ahmad Zahid said he hopes for the situation to be handled and resolved amicably in the near future.
He said this at a press conference following the launch of the International Exhibition on National Security Asia which was co-launched with the Defence Services Asia Exhibition.
The Home Ministry also confirmed that the Malaysian government has already settled negotiations with the nine source countries for domestic helpers, adding that the countries involved were all agreeable to the terms set by Malaysia.
The nine countries as listed on the Maid Online website are Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Laos, Nepal, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Ministry representatives, however, were unable to confirm the number of applications for the direct hiring of maids from these countries.