Maids made in Malaysia
Both Indonesia and Malaysia will emerge as losers from this maid deal. It is not a win-loose situation nor a win-win situation but a loose-loose situation in the long run. This overblown maid-abuse issue has shown Indonesia the fast-track to bang Malaysia for the buck. We are really getting banged, being poorly represented by Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam who continuously fail to leverage up with Indonesia's Manpower and Trans-migration Minister Erman Suparno in the series of negotiations taking place at the present moment. Both ministers are doing a bad job- one banging, banging and banging; the other receiving to the pulp, both not thinking right. Dr Subra, are you sore already.
1) The results of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) survey on Malaysians willing to pay RM700 monthly salary for a maid- which part of the population did the MTUC survey which represented the Malaysian people? RM700 is 155% of the current monthly salary of an average maid from Indonesia. To the reader I would like to pose a question- if you are a salaried worker and if your boss increases your salary by 50% today would his expectations on your work performance increase too? What is Subra trying to say here.
2) Mr. Erman Suparno mentions that “Being trained or untrained is irrelevant. The question is what are the qualifications required by employers for a domestic servant?"
Of course training matters la. Training is essential in every job ladey.
Being trained is the utmost qualification a domestic maid could have (whoops, the word 'servant' is kinda degrading) and nothing else. It does matter when coming to doing the job right and some training ensures that accidents do not happen. Even in factories employers prevent industrial accidents by repetitive safety training, so what about our homes. You wouldn't want cooking gas explosions nor hot-water scalded babies do you.
3)Eh, we are talking about minimum maid wages, but what about minimum productivity and efficiency levels? If expectations do not match up, coupled with higher wages, will this frustrate potential employers even more and lead to increased maid abuse cases?
Minimum wages, weekly off-day and covering maids under the Employment Act 1955 alone are not effective ways to prevent maid-abuse. Both parties Malaysia and Indonesia have come up with everything but the right answers. I do not have answers to all employer-maid issues but I can attest that minimum wages will not work for both employee and employee in the long run because of the nature of the current environment. I feel that many of the issues relate back to work quality. To improve performance standards, an effective method is to implement an appraisal system for maids, and the appraisal goes along with them as they get employed in Malaysia. No minimum wages please, but a standardised increase in wages according to appraisal results. These appraisal results should be signed off annually by the maid, the employer, the agency and the embassy. Maids with good ratings and good standing get more money. Free market economy. Also, this system provides potential employers a choice of hire between experience or new maids. Since maids are being considered under the EA1955, we can do it corporate style right.
As for insurance coverage, one day off per week and the rest of the luxuries I think I'm ok with it. I'm also ok with local holiday trips for that extra motivation and some R&R. Just do the job right.