14 June 2009
Press Statement issued by Wanita MCA National Chairman Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun on addressing and preventing maid abuse
Recently, mainstream newspapers and the new media have published news about the alleged abuse of Indonesian foreign maid Siti Hajar whilst in the employ of her Malaysian employer. It is unfortunate that such incidents continue to occur in Malaysia. While Wanita MCA recognizes that most Malaysian employers do not resort to battering and scalding their foreign maids, the women’s wing of MCA is also concerned that there may still exist more such cases which have gone unreported and unnoticed.
To protect domestic servants against any form of physical, sexual or mental abuse, Wanita MCA proposes that a law be introduced compelling maid agencies to hold regular communication with their clients as well as making regular visits to the maids at least twice a year.
During such visits, the domestic servants should be allowed to hold a private discussion with the foreign maid agents for at least 30 minutes without the presence of the employers where any problem maybe aired without fear of reprisals from either the agent or employers.
In the same vein, to hear two sides of a coin, the maid agencies should also hold regular sessions with their clients to gain a better comprehension of the expectation of the employers of their maids, particularly in addressing cases where the performance of foreign maids falls far below expectation.
In so doing, the proposed law and these regular communication sessions between the agent and maid/employer may achieve the following goals:
1) The shared responsibilities on the maids’ welfare are placed on both the employers and agencies
2) The social well being of the maids are being monitored and checked to prevent maid abuse
3) The quality of service rendered by both maid and agency is similarly monitored and checked, and thus upheld. Hence, employers are also protected against underperforming maids or agencies.
4) If found that the maid is indeed underperforming, the employers reserve the right to exchange the maid with the agencies for a new one without penalty charges even after the standard trial period of six months has lapsed
5) The problems of runaway maids, or maids violently abusing their charges and employers are reduced.