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YOURSAY | Abuses of domestic workers have come home to roost

YOURSAY | ‘I am glad Indonesia, Bangladesh are teaching us how to take care of one’s own citizens.’

Indonesia to phase out sending domestic workers, says envoy

Indonesian envoy: Household must earn above RM7k to hire domestic worker

Dr Raman Letchumanan: "And the Malaysia-Indonesia MOU (memorandum of understanding) is by far the most progressive domestic worker rights document we have successfully undertaken with another country," said Indonesia's ambassador to Malaysia, Hermono.

Of course, Malaysian ministers and policymakers are easy to bully or ‘kowtim’. They will give in to any demands because, without the supply of foreign workers, they cannot earn their keep.

I am glad Hermono is upfront and revealing all the details of the MOU. In Malaysia, that is top-secret. Similarly, Bangladesh was revealing details, demanding transparency, and seeking to avoid cronyism. But Malaysia reacted by not talking to them.

Malaysian policymakers are known to live out of the misery of foreign workers. Just look at the ongoing court case of a top leader of Umno and a former minister.

Look at the harassment of foreign workers by the enforcement authorities and how they are detained and mistreated. Look at how the current minister in charge is playing tai chi with our part of the OCS (One Channel System).

I am glad Indonesia and Bangladesh are teaching us how to take care of one’s own citizens.

We have the Keluarga Malaysia slogan. It is all a 'protection racket' to fleece the rakyat under the threat of race, religion and country. If any Malaysian talks like the Indonesian ambassador, the enforcement authorities will sure pay them a visit.

WhiteLlama4337: Hermono is right to protect his citizens and we need our elected representatives to do the same for us.

We need more discussion on policies for childcare and care for the elderly and persons with disabilities in this country.

Let’s not keep harping on wanting domestic workers to work for a pittance and in slave-like conditions in Malaysia. People are not commodities.

Mindspeaks: Finally! Modern slavery needs to end. Domestic workers are humans too and need to be guaranteed basic rights as workers with holidays and stated working hours and a proper place to sleep and not on the floor in the kitchen.

For too long, too many abuses have been going on in Malaysia.

PurplePanda6106: The best option for Indonesia is always available - sending their domestic helpers to developed nations in Europe or the US where the labour laws are well enforced.

I never supported foreign workers working in Malaysia because I believe unemployment still exists in Malaysia. The Malaysian government has not done enough to locate, identify and train its unemployed citizens.

In both our rural and urban areas, we have unemployed and underemployed youth. Additionally, older Malaysians and pensioners who are in good health are also available to continue working.

Employers in Malaysia have taken the easy way out of bringing in cheap labourers from foreign countries. Such a practice brings huge losses to our nation in the form of money outflow in the billions per year as remittances by foreign workers back to their home countries.

HangTuahPJ: Hermono, just make sure that the maids who come over are employable. We employers have also been abused by your people too. I know of maids sleeping with the man in the house and disrupting family lives so that they can get to live here permanently.

And many run away not because of abuse but because their agents tell them to so that they can collect another RM15,000 from another gullible employer. It happened to my neighbour. Please guarantee a refund if the maid runs away within a stipulated time period.

I believe there are more who treat their maids as family, which includes me. My maid is just extra help. We also chip in and do some of the housework and on weekends, she does not need to cook - we eat out and she has her off days.

She eats with us at the dining table, the same food we eat. We buy her clothes and toiletries and she holidays with us. My neighbours do the same. Just because a few nasty ones made the headlines, please don’t accuse the majority of Malaysians of being cruel.

Guglu: On many occasions when I went for a buffet lunch or dinner in big hotels, I saw many couples eating and their maids sat at the same table not eating but were busy looking after the children.

Why do they take their maids when they go out for nice meals but not invite them to eat? Why can’t they leave their maids at home and they themselves look after their children when they go out? It is inhuman.

Sometimes I felt like inviting the maids to have the meal with me but I was afraid I might create a scene. Well done, Indonesia. If you don’t protect your own citizens, nobody else will.

GrayPanda9123: Are maids meant only for the very rich? I earn RM5,000 and I am a single mom who badly needs a maid to manage my family.

I don’t mind paying RM1,500 but to deprive me of hiring a maid because my salary is only RM5,000 (which is considered a good salary) is most unfair. Is this what our minister was negotiating all these years?

Maya: Mr Ambassador, with all due respect, your words are clear. It is indeed good to hear that Indonesia has progressed and is now a powerhouse and better performing economically, compared to Malaysia.

It is indeed true that the good old days of cheap labour from your country are no longer tenable. You have also stopped your domestic workers from going to Middle Eastern countries due to ill-treatment.

Just one piece of advice, sir, please see to it that your citizens do not attempt to come in illegally.

JG: Well, the way the economy and the amount of corruption and the plundering of the country's wealth, soon Malaysians will have to be sent to Indonesia to work as domestic helpers.

Vijay47: All this while, we Malaysians were lording it over the Indonesians, treating and mistreating them like country-bumpkin cousins. We the masters, they the serfs who should be eternally grateful for whatever we threw at them.

Now look where they are, and worse, look where we are! As they say in Bahasa Indonesia – padan muka! Or as they say in Bahasa Malaysia – serves us right!


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