Indonesia to lift ban on sending maids to Malaysia

March 19, 2012
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – Indonesia will once again send maids to work in Malaysia starting sometime in April after a ban of more than two years, officials from both countries said Sunday (March 18th).

The lifting of restrictions, however, could be clouded by disagreements over pay and the number of hours the maids could work, as well as recent allegations that a Malaysian official abused his maids.

Indonesia imposed the ban – which has led to a shortage of maids for working parents in Malaysia -- in June 2009 after a series of abuse cases. The country said in December it would remove the restrictions after Malaysia agreed to better protect maids, including giving them one day off per week.

Suryana Sastradiredja, an Indonesian Embassy official, said maids would need to be paid more than the 700-ringgit ($230) monthly rate if they did additional work, like cooking or caring for children or the elderly.

Malaysian Human Resources Ministry labour department head Sheikh Yahya Sheikh Mohamed told AFP such a deal was never agreed upon, and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said the demands are "not reasonable".


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