The cost to bring in an Indonesian domestic worker is set at RM7,800, of which RM6,000 is to be paid by Malaysia and RM1,800 by Indonesia, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Deputy Human Resource Minister Awang Hashim said the sum is set in a previous memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two countries.
“The MOU has set the cost to RM7,800. If there is any other charge or fee in excess as stipulated, you can make a report to the Labour Department.”
He was replying to P Kasthuriraani (Batu Kawan-PH), who wanted to know the total cost paid by an applicant to an Indonesian domestic recruitment agent before the pandemic and the number of agencies involved in the recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers.
On the recruitment of Bangladeshi migrant workers, Awang said 275 employment agencies are involved.
“Only private employment agencies registered under the Private Employment Agencies Act 1981 are allowed to assist employers in managing all matters relating to placement of foreign workers in the country.”
This is to prevent corruption and exploitation of migrant workers, he added.
However, earlier today news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported Indonesian ambassador Hermono as saying that the cost of hiring an Indonesian maid has been capped at RM15,000.
He also reportedly said that the amount paid by employers would depend on the market.
Hermono also reportedly said that the new MoU contained a clause that stated “one maid per household with six members” to prevent Indonesian workers from being exploited.
He also said that the minimum wage for domestic helpers should be around RM1,500 and that they should be entitled to one day off a week.
“If the employers want them to work on their days off and the maids agree, they must be compensated,” he was quoted as saying.
Kasthuri said she was shocked to hear Awang saying that the amount and questioned whether the deputy minister had been misled, saying that it does not reflect the reality faced by many Malaysians who had to pay much more to get one foreign worker in.
The Batu Kawan MP said she herself had to pay RM13,000 to get a domestic helper in the past, while some others were said to have paid between RM15,000 and RM30,000 to agents.