Maid agencies here cool to Jakarta's plan to curb workers

Maid agencies here cool to Jakarta's plan to curb workers
A domestic helper helping a wheelchair-bound elderly, move along the pavement.

JAKARTA - There could be a dearth of female Indonesian workers in Singapore - including maids - if Indonesia goes ahead with plans to end its practice of sending female workers overseas in five years.

However, some maid agencies in Singapore said they would not be too badly affected as they would look to other countries.

Indonesia Vice-President Jusuf Kalla said on Friday that the government was planning to stop sending female workers abroad by creating more job opportunities in the country, The Jakarta Globe reported.

He said that many women in Indonesia work overseas as the job prospects in the country were limited. However, in doing so, many female Indonesians were mentally and physically abused.

Mr Kalla said that "we will end all of this" bad treatment of female workers and that in five years, "we must (stop sending them) abroad". He was speaking at a women's organisation's conference.

As for creating job opportunities in Indonesia, Mr Kalla believed that agriculture was a primary area to look into, with light industrial work being the next.

His comments come after a British bank executive allegedly murdered two young Indonesian women in his apartment in Hong Kong.

There have also been many reports of female Indonesian maids being abused in countries such as Singapore and Malaysia.

Things are not rosy for migrant workers when they return to Indonesia, either.

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