MoU on recruitment of Indonesian maids to be signed next month, says Saravanan

PUTRAJAYA: A memorandum of understanding on the recruitment of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia is expected to be signed in February with a capped fee to be paid by employers, says Datuk Seri M. Saravanan.

The Human Resources Minister said the tentative date for the signing is Feb 7 or 8, adding that the ceremony will be held in Indonesia at a location to be confirmed.

“We are finalising a few matters including the cost of hiring a domestic maid from Indonesia. We are looking at capping the fees at between RM10,000 and RM15,000.

“We are still negotiating with Indonesia on this and are hoping for a favourable outcome,” he told a press conference on Monday (Jan 10).

The rate would include various levies and fees as well as quarantine of up to 14 days.

Maid agencies have reiterated that the recruitment fee was between RM16,000 and RM20,000 before the pandemic, and the amount has gone up at present due to quarantine costs, PCR tests and higher air fares – adding up to about RM25,000 to bring in a maid.

“I will also be discussing with relevant authorities the possibility of bringing down the cost of quarantine for foreign workers,” said Saravanan.

Currently, employers are charged RM3,000 per foreign worker who has to be quarantined upon arrival in Malaysia.

Saravanan also said another issue that needed to be resolved before the MoU is signed was that Indonesia wanted Malaysia to stop hiring its citizens who come to the country as tourists but were later employed as maids.

“I will meet with the Home Minister to seek his views on the matter,” he said.