KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed to “slightly” increase wages of domestic maids from the present RM800.
Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot, however, declined to disclose the exact amount.
“I won’t disclose the figure, ada naik sikit (there is a slight increase) but not to the amount which Indonesia asked for,” Riot told The Star.
He added that the ministry had to call for a meeting with stakeholders such as the Malaysian Maid Employers Association (Mama) and the Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) on the agreed rate.
Riot said the decision would be announced soon.
In May, Indonesia submitted a memorandum to the Government asking for the minimum wage for maids to be raised to RM1,200 from the present RM800.
Apart from a loud “no” from prospective Malaysian employers, the proposal also did not go down well with local economists who said Malaysia was already facing a RM5bil outflow each year to Indonesia based on the present minimum wage.
Of the over 320,000 foreign maids in the country, 230,000 are from Indonesia.
Indonesian deputy ambassador to Malaysia Hermono also urged Malaysia to look at its proposal as a package, as the RM1,800 recruitment fees was rather high and should be offset by higher wages.
He had observed that most maids did not work fixed hours, as opposed to Malaysians receiving the minimum wage of RM900 who were usually only expected to work fixed hours.