Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng has warned the government that unless it takes the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Indonesian maids seriously, other countries will also become wary of entering into MoUs or trade agreements with Malaysia.
Yesterday, Indonesian ambassador Hermono said the Malaysian immigration department’s continued use of the Maid Online System (MOS) to facilitate the recruitment of Indonesian maids was a breach of the MoU.
He said the MOS bypassed the One Channel System that was introduced in the MoU. The republic opposed the usage of MOS – which allowed Indonesian workers to enter the country using a tourist visa before applying for a work permit – due to the risk of forced labour.
Lim said the MoU “fiasco” would set a bad precedent if the claim made by the republic’s ambassador was not regarded with more gravity.
“This claim is not only about saving face, it is about changing the practices and cultures that have been hurting people for so long.
“Furthermore, Indonesia, as a nation that is close to Malaysia, has established various social and economic agreements with us. Such a clash will definitely lead to more agreements facing similar predicaments,” he said in a statement.
The DAP leader said that Putrajaya’s apparent disregard of the MoU would be disastrous for the economy, which is already suffering from a high inflation rate and a shortage of 1.5 million workers for the manufacturing, plantation, and construction sectors.
He added that foreign investors would continue to flee Malaysia if the country continued to show it was “untrustworthy”.
“Should this matter find no solution, it will be a very serious problem that would sink the Malaysian economy into the deepest recession,” he added.
Lim also said that Hermono’s claim on the breach of the MoU was a “damning indictment” of Malaysia’s reputation for political instability and uncertainty.
He also lambasted the human resources minister M Saravanan and home minister Hamzah Zainudin for their silence on the matter, adding that their actions showed the “incompetency” of the country’s ministers in dealing with international issues.
Meanwhile, former human resources minister M Kulasegaran called for both ministers to provide detailed explanations on the breach of the MoU in the Dewan Rakyat sitting that will commence next week.
“As there have been conflicting stories of what actually transpired and the issues are very serious from human rights, economic and diplomatic standpoints, it would be best if the home minister and human resources minister explain in detail,” said Kulasegaran in a statement.
“Time should be given for MPs to question these ministerial statements.” – FMT