Monday, June 29, 2009

Philippines to Export Muslim Women to Work as Maids in Malaysia

The Mindanao Examiner
June 29, 2009

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 29, 2009) – The Philippines is virtually selling its Muslim women to work as housemaids in Malaysia. This after Indonesia recently announced a temporary ban on sending domestic helpers to Malaysia after a recent case of maid abuse.

Malaysia’s New Straits Times reported on Monday reported that the Philippine government was ready to send up to 60,000 Muslim women from Mindanao who are willing to work as maids to fill a void left by Indonesians.

It quoted Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan as saying that Philippine embassy labor attaché Hassan Humdain had expressed sending Filipino housemaids at a recent meeting.

“Since we have reached an initial agreement, Papa will write to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and the embassy to seek permission to bring in these maids. Papa plans to bring in maids from Davao City, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga and Batuan City on Mindanao Island,” Raja Zulkepley said.

He said about 10,000 non-Muslim maids, mainly from Luzon Island in the Philippines, are currently employed as maids in Malaysia. He said Papa was expanding its source of Muslim maids to the southern Philippines.

"Papa will start by bringing in about 500 to 600 Muslim maids from Mindanao every month. These maids are also fluent in English," he added.

He said the Philippine embassy had stipulated that non-member maid agencies must obtain a letter of approval from Papa. He said the Philippine government wanted to ensure that Filipinos were not brought in through illegal means.

Indonesia has been the main provider of domestic workers for Malaysia, but banned last week the sending of housemaids because of abuses by their employers.

The Philippine Embassy said it is confident that Filipino maids would be treated fairly in Malaysia. The Filipino maids are expected to receive some RM800 monthly wage.

Raja Zulkepley said maid agencies are free to take in Muslim maids from Mindanao following the rising cost of Indonesian maids.

He said there is a shortage of Indonesian maids as agents there charge between RM2, 000 and RM3, 000 as processing fees and are always complaining about the low the wages in Malaysia, the report said. (Mindanao Examiner)


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