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Tuesday, Jan 26th

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You are here News It's illegal to get own maids

It's illegal to get own maids

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KUALA LUMPUR: The higher cost of hiring maids from Indonesia has prompted some Malaysians to take the easy way out – to go to the source country and bring home a maid.

But this has proven to be a costly affair for some. They have been caught by Indonesian authorities just before departing and had to pay dearly for their ignorance.

Malaysian ambassador to Indonesia Datuk Zainal Abidin Zain said a Malaysian was detained for three months in Sumatra because he failed to get the proper document to bring an Indonesian maid back.

Another was remanded in Jakarta recently but was released after one day. He declined to give details.

“We’re getting reports of some Malaysian employers coming to Indonesia to personally hire a maid. This is made possible as their relatives may be living and working in Indonesia, thus making it easy to hire one and bring the maid home.

“The problem is their act is illegal as it contravenes Indonesian regulations which require all Indonesian workers to be employed through appointed labour agencies. These agencies will process the necessary documentation,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Zainal Abidin said he wanted to caution other Malaysians that should they be detained for a similar offence in future, they could be charged for human trafficking.

“I want Malaysians to be aware of the proper procedures. They can check with either the Malaysian embassy or the Indonesian embassy in Jakarta on the guidelines,” he added.

Zainal Abidin also said the Indonesian government has proposed a review on the MoU to bring in maids to Malaysia.

“The RM3,700 recruitment fee for levy, travel, documentation and others is no longer feasible.

“There is an additional cost involved now as the Jakarta agents have to search for maids in the interior. Their search costs money,” he said.

By MERGAWATI ZULFAKAR

The Star, 26 June 2008