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Tuesday, Jan 26th

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Allow maids from China, Myanmar

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government must seriously consider allowing in maids from China and Myanmar as recruitment agencies in Indonesia have pushed the fees so high that it may reach an astonishing RM8,000 soon.

“We know some quarters are against hiring maids from China, fearing it may spark social problems and marital havoc.

“But, we have reached a point where we either continue to quietly suffer and pay the increasing rates imposed by Indonesian agents or, we try out maids from China,” said Association of Foreign Housemaids Recruitment Agencies (PAPA) secretary Foo Yong Hooi.

He added that there was a ready market for maids from China. Employers, especially those in the higher income bracket, had asked local agencies to hire such maids for them because of the similarity in language and culture.

Foo said he understood the concerns raised and suggested a trial period. The Government could allow in 5,000 maids from China and monitor the development.

“We can impose conditions, such as the consent of wives and a minimum age requirement for the maids,” said Foo.

He added that maids from China could be sourced from the northern provinces such as Szechuan and Wunan. Foo estimated the monthly salary would have to be about RM1,000.

He also urged the Government to consider maids from Myanmar. Currently, only male general workers are allowed to work here.

By LOONG MENG YEE
The Star, 27June 2008