Unprofessional for 2 ministries to represent MoU on Indonesian maid

Instead, one ministry should be task to handle the matter to avoid further confusion, former minister says

by NURUL SUHAIDI / pic by TMR FILE

IPOH Barat MP M Kula Segaran slammed the government’s decision on having two ministries representing the intake of Indonesian maids.

He described this as unprofessional and plain embarrassing.

“The two different positions about the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the intake of maids to Malaysia, boils down to the government’s instability and political manoeuvring,” he said in a statement yesterday.

He noted that the human resources minister is from Barisan Nasional while the home minister is from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, and the feud between the parties has caused so much unhappiness among the people as it continues to bleed money and time.

“I urge both ministers to face the public and explain their stand, and why they are inconsistent when they belong to the same government.

“Have they read the report by the independent committee on foreign workers which specifically says that only one ministry should handle foreign workers, which is the Human Resources Ministry?” he said.

Kula further questioned the involvement of the home minister on the matter as it should be handled by only one ministry.

“Why is the home minister so ‘gung-ho’? What interest does he have in this matter? Is there a hidden agenda?” he asked.

He added that the Home Ministry is making lives difficult for Malaysians who are looking to hire maids.

“The stand and policies of each of the ministries are contradictory, inconsistent and lacking in confidence,” he said.

“I urge the Cabinet and prime minister (PM) to intervene and resolve this matter before these two ministers embarrass Malaysia further.

“Settle the matter once and for all with the interest of Malaysians at heart,” he concluded.

Previously, Indonesia expressed dissatisfaction over the immigration department’s limited involvement in discussions about the MoU.

It said that so far, its representatives had only attended two meetings.

Despite that, it was noted that this MoU to bring in employees from Indonesia which was scheduled to be signed on Feb 7 and 8 was postponed and to be put on hold due to arising matters.

Meanwhile, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said the Indonesian domestic workers (PDIs) MoU will be signed immediately by him and his counterpart Indonesian Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah.

He said the matter of PDI was discussed in depth in a series of Cabinet meetings, including on Feb 9.

“Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and I have the same goal, which is to protect and safeguard the welfare and wellbeing of Indonesian workers in the country, especially those involving issues such as salaries, leave and employee welfare.

“I would also like to advise foreign workers, including PDIs, on the importance of having valid travel documents and work permits so that their rights as workers are guaranteed,” he said in a statement last Friday.

On Jan 24, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed to implement a pilot project on the recruitment of 10,000 domestic helpers from the latter as early as February.

The pilot project is expected to start a week after the MoU on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian domestic helpers is signed on Feb 7 and 8 in Bali.