Malaysia to sign MoU on Indonesian domestic workers soon

On Jan 24, Malaysia and Indonesia agreed on the recruitment of 10,000 domestic helpers as early as February


HUMAN Resource Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan has formally proposed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the recruitment and placement of Indonesian domestic workers (PDI) at the Cabinet meeting yesterday.

The Cabinet has agreed for the PDI MoU to be signed immediately on a mutual date and time by Saravanan and his counterpart Indonesian Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah.

“I am confident that the signing of this PDI MoU will benefit both countries, especially the PDIs who need jobs in a situation where the world is still facing financial and health crises.

“It will also be beneficial to local employers who are in need of house maid services,” he said in a statement yesterday.

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

The MoU mainly elaborates on the crucial issues specifically the “One Maid One House” arrangement, One Channel System and salaries for the PDIs.

Previously, Saravanan said he and Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had the same goal of protecting and safeguarding the welfare and well-being 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 was reported as saying.

In a separate statement yesterday, Saravanan expressed concern for the welfare of foreign maids in Malaysia, saying they also have rights as employees although they are in the informal sector.

He said issues on their welfare had affected and delayed the conclusion of MoU with source countries such as Indonesia and Cambodia. With Indonesia, the MoU has been delayed since 2016.

“I will not compromise with any employer found to be taking advantage of their maids.

“In fact, employers found to be denying the rights of their employees such as not paying wages and taking advantage of them will be blacklisted,” he added.

Saravanan assured that his ministry will continue to work closely with the Home Affairs Ministry through its agencies to address such issues.

As of Jan 31, 2022, there are a total of 1,157,481 foreign workers in Malaysia, of which 86,084 are maids.

The majority of maids are from Indonesia (59,605) followed by the Philippines (22,803), Vietnam (1,031), Cambodia (976) and others.