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Malaysia says no to Nepali maids

Himalayan News Service

KATHMANDU: Malaysia has formally decided to hire domestic helps from India, Sri Lanka and South East Asian countries, saying no to Nepali maids. The destination had requested the Nepal government to send women workers for household works about four months ago.

Malaysians can now employ domestic servants from Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka and Philippines, Bernama, the official news agency reported on Saturday.

Housemaids from other than these countries will not be allowed in Malaysia from today, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S Subramaniam. The decision comes on the back

of acute shortage of domestic servants, following Indonesian ban on their women to work in Malaysia as helps on June 25 last year after reports of abuses.

It is estimated that Malaysia needs an immediate supply of around 100,000 to support its working families. Earnings of maids are varied in Malaysia from Malaysia Ringgits (MYR) 360 (Rs 8,700) to MYR 760 (Rs 18,500).

However, Indonesia is demanding MYR 1,000 (Rs 24,200) and bilateral talks are going on. We expect Indonesia will be added to list of source country, said Subramaniam. “New agreement will come soon,” he said.

Malaysia has assured the government will take the responsibility of Indonesian housemaids. From today, safety of foreign maids will be the government responsibility, he said in a press meet on Friday.

However, Malaysia is seeking maids from other countries as well to diversify its foreign labour market and. We are looking at other countries for domestic helps, he said without quoting specific country.

Malaysia is home of over 400,000 Nepali workers and it is also considered safe for women migrant workers, compared to Gulf countries. But the destination has hired only 495 Nepali women in service and manufacturing sectors since the destination was open for job.

According to the Department of Foreign Employment (DoFE), Malaysia had hired as many as 569,667 Nepali overseas job aspirants in the past one decade and has topped among 108 destination countries for hiring the maximum number of Nepali workers. Around 23,509 Nepalis joined Malaysian jobs in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

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