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Malaysian Maid Employers Association to look into 'live-out' maids possibility

The maids would be required to only work eight hours daily, six days a week. -The Star/ANN
Florence A.Samy and Tashny Sukumaran

Tue, May 28, 2013
The Star/Asia News Network

File Photo: Indonesian Maids looking at a guidebook

PETALING JAYA - Several issues need to be looked into before the proposal to have "live-out" Indonesian maids can be implemented, said Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) president Engku Ahmad Fauzi Engku Muhsein.

He said the proposal could be a solution to the current maid shortage, adding that the association "likes the idea".

"It seems like an automatic solution but a few things should be considered. It must be within the legal process. For example, if a maid gets abused at the second house or after she leaves a house, we must ensure that innocent employers are protected.

"Similarly, what happens if a maid leaves a house, goes somewhere else and contracts an illness? Who will be responsible? Employers and their families must also be protected, especially healthwise," he said when contacted here yesterday.

Engku Ahmad was commenting on a report quoting Indonesian embassy labour attache Agus Triyanto as saying that Indonesia was studying a proposal to introduce the concept of maids living outside their employer's home to prevent abuse.

Under the proposal, maid agencies would provide accommodation for the maids, who could also choose to stay on their own on days off.

They would also be required to only work eight hours daily, six days a week and be paid a minimum of RM600 a month as well as overtime.

Engku Ahmad said the RM600 salary was a "little high", noting that live-in Indonesian maids were currently paid RM700, including lodging and meals.

Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) president Jeffrey Foo said that although it was open to the idea, it would wait for the Malaysian authorities to comment on the matter.

"This has not been officially been made known to us," said Foo, adding that he was planning to meet new Human Resources Minister Datuk Richard Riot soon over the maid shortage.

Meanwhile, many Malaysians have questioned the implementation of such a proposal, with Kee Kai Ming writing on Facebook: "How will they send the maid to work? Who is going to open the door for the maid every day and who will be responsible if anything's wrong or something goes missing?"

Fuad Azizi said such a proposal would mean that the agencies would be the maids' employers and should bear the expenses for "permits and medical check-ups".

Jasmin Mohd Saad, whose mother had a "live-out" maid, said she would prefer such a solution herself.

"But it needs more consideration and should be a fair deal for both sides in terms of money, convenience, working hours and privacy."

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