Deputy Human Resources minister Datuk Awang Hashim said no agreement has been reached between Malaysia and Indonesia yet on the price cap for the cost of hiring Indonesian domestic helpers.
In a response to Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Pattoâ€™s statement on agencies charging between RM15,000 and RM30,000 just for recruitment, Awang said all terms will be decided during the inking of the domestic helpers memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Jakarta in early April.
â€œNothing has been decided on the price cap for the cost of hiring Indonesian domestic helpers. Everything will be decided during the signing of the MoU in April,â€ he said during a press conference in Parliament today.
However, earlier today news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported Indonesian ambassador Hermono as saying that the cost of hiring an Indonesian maid has been capped at RM15,000.
He also reportedly said that the amount paid by employers would depend on the market.
The report also mentioned Awang as informing the Dewan Rakyat that under the previous MoU that expired in 2016, the maximum recruitment fee was RM7,800, with RM6,000 paid by the employer and the rest by the worker.
Hermono also reportedly said that the new MoU contained a clause that stated â€œone maid per household with six membersâ€ to prevent Indonesian workers from being exploited.
He also said that the minimum wage for domestic helpers should be around RM1,500 and that they should be entitled to one day off a week.
â€œIf the employers want them to work on their days off and the maids agree, they must be compensated,â€ he was quoted as saying.
Last week, Human Resources minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan said that the long-awaited signing of the MoU between Malaysia and Indonesia on domestic helpers will take place in Jakarta on April 1.
Initially planned for March 18, the event was postponed because Indonesian President Joko Widodo had said he wanted to be present.
It is understood that an invitation would also be extended to prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.