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You are here News Employers can appeal fine when maids run away

Employers can appeal fine when maids run away

PORT DICKSON: It is not mandatory for employers whose maids run away to pay a RM250 fine to the Immigration Department.

Its director-general Datuk Mahmood Adam said employers could always appeal if they were asked to do so.

"We will look at this on a case-by-case basis ... we understand that this is sometimes beyond the employers," he said Tuesday when closing the passing out ceremony for 281 Immigration officers.

An average of 1,000 maids run away from their employers every month. There have been reports that some agents worked in cahoots with maids, encouraging them to run away from employers after the replacement period of three months was over.

Mahmood said if employers could give legitimate reasons, they would not be penalised.

He was asked to comment on grouses from employers who not only have to part with between RM5,000 and RM7,000 for their maids but also pay a fine when their domestic helpers run away within weeks.

Admitting that the number of runaway maids was high, Mahmood said prospective employers should get their maids from agencies registered with the Immigration.

"In fact, the names of these agencies are on our website. If you take your maid from the registered agencies, it would be easier for us to monitor their track record and if they had an unusually high number of runaway maids," he said.

Mahmood said if the employers took their maids from unregistered agencies, there was little it could do.

"In a meeting with the Association of Foreign Housemaids Agencies (Papa) a few days ago, this issue of employers being penalised for their runaway maids was also raised.

"But they told us that their members do not have such problems," he said.

It is learnt that only a third of the 350 agencies registered to bring in foreign maids were under Papa.

On a separate matter, Mahmood said the Malaysian passports were of high quality and could not be tampered with.

Responding to claims by Thai authorities that fake Malaysian passports were the most seized at its Suvarnabhumi International Airport last year, Mahmood said:

"It is easy to detect a fake Malaysian passport as we have 35 security features on it. In fact, some of my officers met with our Thai counterparts to discuss this last week," he said.

Mahmood said the Government planned to enhance the security measures which include introducing the radio-frequency identification technology which allowed the movement of the passport to be tracked.

"The passport is popular because Malaysians are multi-racial. If you look at me, I can be from the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand or even India," he said in jest.