Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam has confirmed that Indonesia is demanding a RM800 (S$327) minimum salary for its domestic maids working in Malaysia.
Dr Subramaniam said the Indonesian government had little choice but to do so following reports by its media alleging the rampant abuse of maids by Malaysian employers.
He said the RM800 wage demand was discussed during a meeting between ministry officials and their Indonesian counterparts in Putrajaya two weeks ago.
Dr Subramaniam was responding to reports quoting Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia Da’i Bachtiar as saying that Jakarta would be making the higher wage demand in its negotiations.
Any Malaysian employer wishing to have their domestic helpers' employment extended for another year or two, will be obliged to pay their domestic helpers at least RM600 a month.
"Otherwise, we will not extend their work contracts," the one-time Indonesian chief of police said.
Asked if his ministry had contingency plans in case Jakarta refused to budge, Dr Subramaniam said Malaysian employers could source their domestic maids from other countries.
Indonesian maids in the country are now being paid an average of between RM450 and RM600 monthly.
Two weeks ago, the Indonesia-Malaysia working group met in Putrajaya and agreed to several deals, including the Malaysian employers agreeing that passports be held by their domestic helpers who also will be entitled to a day off each week, regular wage increases, revision of cost structure, and a task force to monitor the implementation of bilateral agreements and the revised MoU.
AsiaOne News, Indonesia to seek S$327 salary for maids, 5th September 2009, http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/Asia/Story/A1Story20090905-16...
The Star Online, Indonesia is asking RM800 wage for maids, 5th September 2009, http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/9/5/nation/2009090518135...
Viva News, Indonesia NGO Welcomes Malaysia's Decision, 3rd September 2009, http://us.en.vivanews.com/news/read/87537-indonesia_ngo_welcomes_malaysi...