AS the debate rages over whether Indonesian maids are allowed to do just one task or any of four tasks decided by the employer, let’s turn to a more local resolution.
Personally I do not have a domestic helper in my home. We can manage the household chores on our own, but it is understandable that some families cannot cope as there are young children or elderly family members who are unwell.
Or both husband and wife are working full time and cannot manage their homes on their own.
If you can afford it and want or need extra help, hey there’s nothing wrong with that.
You are actually helping to support a family by hiring a maid. Instead of a foreign family, how about supporting a local one?
When I was a child, my family used to get the help of a lady from the village to help with the washing. She was like a member of the family. She was helping our family and we were helping hers.
It was good to read that the State government is calling for the revival of the home manager programme.
Under this programme, locals used to be trained to become professional domestic helpers or home managers.
They were trained in tasks such as taking care of the elderly, childcare, house cleaning and cooking.
There are many locals who need employment. They are able bodied but may not have educational qualifications.
Given the right training, they would have the skills to be gainfully employed.
If the Federal Government doesn’t revive the programme, perhaps the State or private companies could start a training programme.
If foreign workers will be receiving a minimum RM700, wouldn’t it be better that that money go to Sarawakians?
That way we would not only be supporting locals, but the money would also stay in the local economy.
The Borneo Post’s report:
Revive department’s home manager programme, says Fatimah
MUKAH: The government should look into reviving the home manager programme, which was initiated by the federal Women’s Development Department in 2008.
“This is to tackle potential hiring problems, after the decision by the Indonesian government that the new batch of Indonesian maids would be employed to do only one of four tasks they are trained in and that their minimum wage will be RM700 per month.”
Welfare, Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Fatimah Abdullah regards the new hiring terms of Indonesian maids of ‘one maid, one task’ as restrictive and unaffordable to most middle-income households.
“The decision needs to be re-looked into, because not everyone could afford to pay RM700 a month for a maid who will only do one chore. It will be beyond the means of the low- and middle-income households.
“The salary should be based on workload and also the type of employers. There are many types of households with different age group members who have different needs. Most of them are within the middle-income group, who need to hire maids for practical reasons, not a luxury,” Fatimah said.
She was speaking to reporters at the conclusion of her working visit to Dalat and Oya yesterday.
Fatimah said there were a few possible solutions to the problem of hiring Indonesian maids by looking at resources within the country, such as reviving the home manager programme.
“Under this programme, participants are trained to be professional domestic help or home managers. They are trained in tasks such as taking care of the old, babysitting, house cleaning and cooking.
“Clients call up the company that is given the mandate to train the participants, state their needs and the home managers will be dispatched to them,” she said, adding that she personally had good experience with the service.
However, due to lack of fund allocation, the programme was terminated in 2010.
Fatimah said other possible solutions included setting up of more childcare centres for the benefit of families with young children and also enlisting food catering services.
“Also, it is good to train children from young to do their own laundry and help out with household chores. This way it could lessen the burden on one person and may reduce the need for hiring a maid,” she reasoned.
During her working visit to her constituency, she attended the closing ceremony of a futsal referee training course, visited and gave aid of RM5,000 to the widow of the late Penghulu Hussin Taha of Kpg Kuala Hilir Oya as well as presented grant of RM10,000 to the Oya Malay Charitable Trust Board.