Higher Wages Sought for Maids
KUALA LUMPUR ~ Indonesia will seek higher wages for its nationals working as domestic helpers in Malaysia as the cost of living rises, the country’s ambassador said in an interview.
Dai Bachtiar told the Star daily higher wages would top a list of demands for Indonesian maids here, including more time off and a proper mechanism to resolve disputes with employers.
“If costs are rising here due to higher fuel prices and food prices are going up, then our workers too should be entitled to what is deemed fit by the Malaysian government,” he was quoted as saying.
“We also want a system in place whereby if an employer accuses workers of any wrongdoing the issue will be handled with fairness.”
Malaysia relies heavily on foreign workers for menial jobs, and the Indonesian embassy says about 300,000 of its national are employed here as maids.
In 2006, Malaysia rejected a proposal to set a minimum wage of 500 ringgit (US$150) a month for Indonesian domestic helpers and most are paid between 400-500 ringgit to work for long hours with few days off.
The Indonesian government is to seek the changes at an upcoming meeting in Kuala Lumpur.Filed under: The Nation