Indonesia asked RM700 per month for their maids. Like it or not, we need to haggle. However, I believe we are going to lose. Why? We are so hard up for them!
To Human Resource Minister, why don't you and your officers find other avenues to solve this 'maids' problem, rather than having to play beggar to Indonesia.
What is the role of 'Jabatan Tenaga Manusia' or JTM under the ministry? At the same time, we have so many learning institutes to provide local students with training in various disciplines, especially technical and services.
Why can't we consider setting up a special academy to train locals as maids? We won't regret having to pay them between RM700 and RM1000 per month.
Introduce a special course under your 'hospitality' arm. After all, those who work at hotels, clubs and restaurants are not called 'maids' although they do maids' work such as making up the bed, cleaning the hotel rooms, etc.
Give it a special name. Hospitality is becoming an asset to certain industries. Some colleges do offer hospitality courses for locals and foreign students. The Segi College, for example.
Its better to give a higher salary to our locals because they are familiar with our surrounding. The also speak the same language and understand local cultures.
And the best part is, we know where they came from. So, its easy to tackle them should they 'escape'. Employers too will find it comfortable having a local and professionally-trained maid in their house.
Besides, we will be able to save millions of ringgit from leaving the country.
The Indonesian government is playing hard to get, actually. As our priority and preference are the Indonesian maids, we are bound to agree to whatever conditions they put forth.
So, Mr Minister, this is not a dead end. We have options here. The only problem is, some people make big bucks from importing the maids. Among them are politicians. And when politic is added to the matter, it becomes a MUST business.
Think about it, will you?
Come on lar... 54 years after Independence, we still need to import toothpicks?