Thursday, October 18, 2007
posted by PabloPabla at 10:06 am

A lot has been said about the paltry sum Malaysian employers pay to their foreign maid, especially Indonesian maids, which range from RM300 to RM500 per month. Maids from other countries get a better deal such as those from the Philipines who are paid more than RM800 per month (with Sunday as an off-day) and the latest news report which states that maids from India are to be paid a minimum sum of RM1,400 per month (on top of a pre-paid mobile phone, bank guarantee of RM9,000 and other perks). Read the full scoop here.

Don't get me wrong. I think maids deserve a decent salary and protection from employers who do not pay their dues. I also think that paying a small sum for a basic personal insurance policy to cover the maid is also nothing much to argue about. These rules and regulations which are slowly being drafted to protect foreign maids working in Malaysia at least tries to put the country nearer towards what other countries are doing for foreign maids working in their midst.

Now, my gripe is, what about the employer? It is common knowledge that foreign maids do not come knocking on the doors of prospective employers inviting these employers to employ them. Rather, the employer spends money (a considerable sum at that) either sourcing the maids in their home country or engages a recruitment agent to get one. Like any contract of employment, the employer takes a big risk employing any maid which seems to fulfill the employer's requirements, as far as biodatas are concerned. But ask any employer and chances are, a majority will tell you that the biodatas are nothing but pretty statistics and information which do not translate to reality. More often than not, employers find that the maids delivered to them do not even know how to sweep the floor properly, let alone using a vacuum cleaner. I am sorry to say this but from my numerous conversations with employers of foreign maids, many lament the lack of basic hygiene being practiced by such maids (especially who have no prior working experience). And the list goes on. Perhaps, it is a clash of culture or civilisation, I don't know. Maybe I should give them the benefit of doubt.

So, what happens if the maid does not perform or refuses to perform or decides that she does not want to work after a short period of employment? It would be fruitless to ask her to continue because her mind is set on leaving. At least you are given prior warning of her intention to quit. It would be worst is she just leaves the house and leave you in a lurch.

Sad to say, there isn't much option or protection for the employer when the maid decides to quit halfway. It would be pointless to sue the maid for breach of contract (for not completing the contract). Monies will have to be spent again if the employer chooses to recruit a new maid. Not to mention precious time as well. Whilst many say that foreign maids are working under perceived or real "threats" from their employers (eg. withholding of salaries, etc), the silent suffering of genuine and good hearted employers go unnoticed.

You got an experience with a maid to tell?



At 3:18 pm, Anonymous Giddy Tiger

You're so right. I have heard of so many of my friends and relatives with maids that have run off, leaving them helpless and some so scared that these maids will kidnap their babies! The employers are not protected. Not now anyway.


At 4:01 pm, Blogger Helen

Bull's eye. I think I wrote a piece sometime back....

Indons complained they are paid peanuts compared to the Filipinos. Honestly, they cannot speak English and trust me, some can't even operate a rice cooker.

I believe the middleman aka agency should be given more responsibility to bear. It is just not enough they go some god forsaken village and take in the girls. These girls have no training at all. Most of the time, it's the employers who have to train up the girls.

A maid agency should rightfully provide maids. Not raw unpolished girls from villages who think they can just come and make money.

Now, this is a personal thought... we dun even have a RM900 min wage requirement for our working ppl, and yet these maids are commanding a min wage of RM1400? GO figure.


At 11:18 pm, Anonymous melvin,foong

Maids are evil .. really evil .. the indonesia ones especially..


At 10:15 pm, Blogger Wuching

i dun think i can ever contemplate hiring a live-in maid


At 9:07 pm, Blogger zewt

generally... employers wanna be nice... it's the maid who made the employers nasty... i think.


At 1:04 pm, Blogger pablopabla

GiddyTiger : Until when will they be protected? :(

helen : That shows how much the government is willing to fight for the rights of their people ;)

melvin : I am sure you are just kidding. There are some good maids from Indonesia, but there are some who are not.

wuching : You already have one, do you?

zewt : It can be both ways, I think.