First batch of Cambodian domestic workers to arrive in Malaysia after Raya

First batch of Cambodian domestic workers to arrive in Malaysia after Raya
Richard Riot launches the Guidelines and Tips for Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers in Putrajaya today. Looking on, Claire Hobden from the International Labour Organisation. --fotoBERNAMA
PUTRAJAYA: The first batch of Cambodian domestic workers will arrive in Malaysia after Hari Raya Aidilfitri following the lifting of the ban imposed since 2011, said Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot.

Riot said the decision was reached 'on the spot' during his meeting with his Cambodian counterpart in Phnom Penh recently.

"We reached an agreement in getting Cambodian domestic workers here as soon as possible," he told a press conference after launching the Guidelines and Tips for Employers of Foreign Domestic Helpers, here, today.

In 2011, the Cambodian government banned its citizens from working as domestic workers in Malaysia. The decision was made after incidents of beating of Cambodian maids by their Malaysian employers were reported.
Riot said a joint technical committee, comprising senior officials from the Malaysian Human Resources Ministry and Cambodian Labour and Vocational Training Ministry, was set up to finalise the terms and conditions in bringing in the Cambodian domestic workers.

"The number (of domestic workers coming to Malaysia) depends. The joint technical committee will sort it out," he said.

Riot said  the Cambodian domestic workers would undergo at least one month of training including learning Malaysian culture, and basic Bahasa Melayu and English before coming to Malaysia.

"I visited one of the centres in Cambodia.  The centre will train them not only in daily household chores but also simple Bahasa Melayu and English, our culture, especially in the Muslim family. This is to avoid culture shock when they arrive," he said.

Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Employment Agencies (Pikap) president, Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan welcomed the decision reached by the Malaysian and Cambodian governments over the matter.

"I hope to see more foreign domestic workers  coming to Malaysia with the lifting of the ban. We badly need them but we don't have the supply as the salary here is low," he said when met by reporters.

"It is not easy to get domestic workers from Cambodia to come here as they prefer to work in countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore where the salaries offered are high, up to US$400 while in Malaysia, it is up to about US$230," he added.