PETALING JAYA – Maid agencies should be allowed to bring in part-time domestic workers from Indonesia to address the deficit of foreign helpers in the market, said the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa).
Papa vice-president Foo Yong Hooi said the move would encourage more employers to rely on part-time instead of full-time helpers and slowly reduce the dependency on foreign helpers.
â€œThe Government should seriously consider it and perhaps allow a certain quota first and see if it works. If employers hire part-time help, they do not have to think about accommodation, food and will avoid cases of domestic abuse,â€ he said when contacted yesterday.
He was commenting on an English dailyâ€™s report that said Malaysians expecting services of Indonesian domestic helpers will have to wait longer as many Indonesians are prioritising Singapore, Hong Kong and the Middle East over Malaysia due to the better salary offered in those countries.
Indonesiaâ€™s deputy chief of mission to Kuala Lumpur Hermono was quoted saying that with more job opportunities in the republic, Indonesians are also opting to stay put at home.
According to the National Consumer Complaints Centre, the potential loss suffered by employers arising from cases related to maids in 2012 came up to around RM941,000.
Foo said the move to have part-time help would also be more economical, especially for small families, which typically need house cleaning only twice a week.
â€œWith this, the domestic helper can also serve up to six families, making this a win-win situation for all,â€ he said.
Foo said the shortage of Indonesian workers in the domestic helper industry is also seen in the manufacturing and construction sectors due to improving prospects within Indonesia.
â€œThe salaries being offered here are not quite attractive, while some employers have also resorted to hiring helpers from Cambodia and even Myanmar,â€ he said.
According to Foo, Papa was willing to work with the Human Resources Ministry to arrive at a mechanism to allow part time workers to work here. – The Star Online