KUALA LUMPUR: Negotiations with Indonesia on the cost of bringing in domestic workers are still ongoing, says V. Sivakumar.
The Human Resource Minister admitted that the cost of bringing a domestic helper to Malaysia is too high, as it can be up to RM15,000.
He spoke to reporters at a press conference after launching the International Public Employment Forum (IPEF) 2023, organised by the Social Security Organisation (Socso) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre here on Wednesday (Oct 11).
Sivakumar added that both countries have formed a working committee.
He also denied claims that suggest Indonesia is temporarily stopping domestic workers from entering Malaysia.
“I have yet to receive any feedback from Indonesia involving this matter. So far, it is status quo, but if there are updates on the issues, I will issue a statement,” he said.
The Indonesian Embassy previously said that only 4,400 applications to hire maids were approved out of the 81,129 applications made in more than a year.
Indonesian Ambassador to Malaysia Hermono said there is a big gap between the demand for domestic workers and the number of those approved to work in Malaysia.
As of June, only 2,300 domestic workers from the 4,400 approved applications have arrived and are working in the country.
Malaysia and Indonesia signed a memorandum of understanding on the Employment and Protection of Indonesian Domestic Workers in Malaysia (MOU PDI) on April 1, last year.
The MoU had also set a maximum cost of RM15,000 to hire a domestic worker, workers weekly and annual leave entitlements, a ban on withholding passports, an online complaint system and the rule on one maid per household not exceeding six people as well as setting a minimum wage of RM1,500.
On April 12 last year, the then-Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan announced that about 10,000 maids would arrive in the country.