Malaysia can expect up to 10,000 Indonesian workers by early next year

A passenger wearing a protective mask arrives at Kuala Lumpur International Airport, following the coronavirus outbreak, in Sepang, Malaysia. Reuters. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 8, 2021, Malay Mail. In an effort to alleviate the issue of labour shortage here, Malaysia is expected to receive between 5,000 and 10,000 Indonesian workers as part of an agreement with the republic starting early next year, Malay Mail reported.

Human Resource Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan said upon signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Domestic Workers (MoU PDI), the workers sent here will cover the areas of manufacturing and construction, as well as domestic needs.

“During a meeting with my Indonesian counterpart Ida Fauziyah (in Jakarta yesterday), both countries have agreed to sign the MoU PDI.

“With that, a team from the Human Resource Ministry will be sent to Indonesia on December 14 to look into the technical terms of the MoU PDI before signing it in January next year.

“Once the agreement is signed, Indonesia can send their workers to Malaysia in the same month,” said Saravanan during a media conference after launching SJ Holdings Integrated Centralised Labour Quarters (ICLQ) at the Pasir Gudang industrial area here today.

Saravanan explained that during the meeting, Indonesia had requested for Malaysia to set the minimum wage for its domestic workers at RM1,500.

However, he said that the amount will be difficult for Malaysia as the minimum wage in the country comes in at RM1,200.

“For the RM1,500, we will leave the amount to the respective employers whether they will give the amount,” he said, adding that his assurance was that Malaysia’s entry-level minimum salary starts at RM1,200.

Saravanan, who is also Tapah MP, said that his ministry has also taken its own initiative to assure the Indonesian government that its citizens will be taken care of while working in Malaysia.

“The Human Resources Ministry, through the Labour Department, will form a special committee to carry out random inspections on domestic workers at their respective employer’s houses.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that we fulfill our assurance on their well-being,” he said.

Following the meeting with Indonesia, Saravanan said the Malaysian government will soon be in similar discussions with the Bangladesh government on a similar arrangement.

Yesterday, it was reported that Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to implement the concept of “one maid-one task”, stating that an Indonesian domestic worker can work in a household of no more than six family members.

The statement issued in conjunction with Saravanan’s meeting with the Indonesian minister of manpower said the issue of the ‘One-Channel System’ had also been agreed between the two ministers to enable effective monitoring of maid entry into Malaysia.

Saravanan paid a working visit to Jakarta from last Sunday to yesterday, following an earlier visit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last month.

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