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The Malaysia maid agencies appears to be deeply immune to the Malaysian government's instruction to reduce the maid agency fees to RM2,415.

We, Migrant Care, one the most active Jakarta-based migrant workers non-government organisations, presents the breakdown of the cost incurred by the Indonesian maid.

The demand for the RM5,000 to RM6,000 fees is way too high as the cost of hiring a maid, including the profit for the Indonesian agent, is only about RM2,000.

The ceiling price set by the Malaysia government at RM2,415 is actually very reasonable, something that will allow the Malaysian agent to enjoy about 25 percent profit for their recruitment service.

The demand for a fee of between RM5,000 and RM6,000 is a reflection of abusive and exploitative nature of maid agencies in Malaysia, an industry ranked by Transparency International as the second most corrupt.

The maid agencies are enjoying a hefty RM3,000 to RM4,000 profit per maid placement.

The reasons given by Deputy Home Minister Tan Chai Ho about the low salary in Malaysia being acceptable because maids in Hong Kong are paid HK$3,740 (RM1,681) per month as compare to Malaysia's market rate of RM400 to RM500 per month. However, the maids bound for Hong Kong are better trained as compared to the maids sent to Malaysia.

There is a very prominent ISO 9001 maid agency in Kuala Lumpur's Old Klang Road, which has even openly advertised that their Muslim maids are willing to handle pork and bathe dogs. We question how the industry standard certification company could award the agency which openly breach the guidelines set forth by the Malaysia foreign labour task force?

There is not proper laws to regulate the human exploitation in Malaysia - it's open doors for Malaysia's maid agencies to exploit both employers and foreign workers. The cartel even openly threatens the Malaysian Employers Federation by delaying the approval of visa renewal that could cost the economy more than RM220 million in lost productivity.

The author is coordinator of Migrant Care.

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