Putrajaya to summon Jakarta envoy to explain maid mess
UPDATED @ 02:11:28 PM 26-06-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 — Putrajaya will call for a meeting with Indonesia’s envoy to Malaysia and local maid agencies within the week to clear the storm over Jakarta’s latest delay in sending over its workers amid a growing diplomatic row between the two countries, Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said today.
The human resources minister was reported to have said that a group of 29 Indonesian maids who arrived last month had received their permits and were working but Sin Chew Daily reported the Indonesian embassy here as denying they were the first batch approved by Jakarta.
Indonesia had imposed a two-year ban on sending any of its workers here as maid following numerous complaints of abuse and agreed to lift it only last December.
But the Indonesian Embassy was present at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) yesterday to welcome the “first batch”.
The conflicting reports have triggered concern among several maid employment agencies who find it difficult to fulfil the huge demand for domestic workers.
“My secretary-general will have a meeting with all the agencies and the other people responsible because we are having conflicting reports,” Dr Subramaniam (picture) told reporters.
“So we are calling all of them. (Maid) Agencies, Indonesian attache, everybody. And they will clarify,” he added.
Datuk Seri Zainal Rahim Seman, the ministry’s secretary-general who was also present at the news conference, said he has called the “Indonesian Embassy office to clarify” its statements.
“After getting everything, a statement will be released to the press,” the minister said.
Last week, an Indonesian Embassy spokesman told Sin Chew that it was not aware of the 29 maids’ arrival and it had not issued “demand letters” or “job orders” for them.
“We understand that these 29 maids came as the result of agreements between maid agencies and the Indonesian local government. They did not come to Malaysia through the Indonesian Manpower and Transmigration Ministry,” she said, adding that the embassy was awaiting a response from the ministry on this matter.
Berita Harian today reported the Indonesian Embassy as saying the 29 maids had entered Malaysia legally, but did not fulfil the conditions in the amended Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two countries.
The MoU contained terms to safeguard the welfare of Indonesian maids, especially in relation to pay and workload.
Yesterday, Agus Triyanto from the Indonesian Embassy said the maid agency for the 29 maids had to work with the embassy to meet the MoU requirements.
“The agency is given two weeks from the notification date to complete the relevant documents. Action can be taken if it fails to do so. Among the important matters that must be obeyed is the (MoU) amendment regarding the process of bringing in Indonesian domestic workers,” Agus was quoted as saying by Berita Harian.
“This includes the compulsory notification of entry of Indonesian domestic workers to the Indonesian Embassy. Indonesian domestic workers’ job offer and pay statement schedule also needs to get the embassy’s verification.
“They should also have a skills certificate verified by the Indonesian National Certification Body (BNSP) and employer’s application approved by Malaysia’s Labour Department,” Agus told reporters at the LCCT yesterday.
Berita Harian reported that the embassy has approved about 11,650 applications from its citizens to come here as maids and they are expected to arrive soon to meet the local demand.