KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 – The government hopes Indonesia will reconsider its decision to stop sending its citizens to work as housemaids in Malaysia. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said there should be indepth discussions on the matter by the two countries.
Ahmad Zahid, who is Home Minister, said he would obtain detailed information on the development as well as inviting Indonesian Manpower Minister Hanif Dhakiri to visit Malaysia for further discussions. He said he did not think the Indonesian government intend to complicate the situation in Malaysia. He said, in his opinion, there is still room for the governments of Malaysia and Indonesia to resolve the matter.
He was speaking to reporters after launching the Rapat Nusantara Alumni Conference and the Nusantara Alumni Network at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa Malaysia (UIAM) here today. He was commenting on reports that Indonesia would stop sending its citizens to work as domestic helpers in foreign countries including Malaysia from next year.
Ahmad Zahid who is the chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Foreign Workers said the Malaysian government had carried out several standards set by Indonesia on the wage of domestic maids in Malaysia including giving priority to their welfare. In this regard, he reminded employers to take the opportunities to obtain valid documents for their illegal workers before the Illegal Foreign Worker Rehiring Programme ends on June 30.
He said he hope employers will not point fingers and blame the government when their workers are arrested after June 30. He urged employers not to be too dependent on foreign manpower and should make efforts for the medium and long term to attract local workers especially in the 3D category, ‘dirty, difficult and dangerous’ apart from looking into increasing usage of automation.
At the launching ceremony, Ahmad Zahid said Malaysia and Indonesia are actually a big family with many similarities in culture and language and should look into the common features to strengthen their relations. He also announced an allocation of RM2 million to the Rapat Nusantara Alumni to carry out research between Malaysia and Indonesia.
With the participation of scholars, humanists, college and university leaders, student leaders, professors and lecturers from Malaysia and Indonesia, the programme hoped to give a new dimension to the people relations of the two countries. Also present was UIAM president and the Malaysia-Indonesia People’s Friendship Foundation chairman Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim.