: Indonesia's new ruling not to send its women abroad as live-in maids will only affect those hired beginning 2017.
Those currently employed as domestic helpers will continue to stay as live-in maids. They can also extend their visas as long as they are happy with their employers, The Straits Times
Soes Hindharno, the Indonesian Ministry of Manpower's Director for the protection and placement of Indonesian migrant workers told the daily that the move will only happen after meetings with the authorities in the receiving countries.
He said the plan will be rolled out in several phases.
The plan is in line with Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s belief that doing menial chores abroad undermines Indonesian pride and dignity.
In Jan 2012, Indonesia drew up The Domestic Worker Roadmap 2017 with the aim to stop sending Indonesians abroad as domestic workers in five years, to protect the interest of the country’s citizens.
Under the roadmap, the Indonesian government intends to provide training to improve skills of domestic workers, so that they will be sent off to the countries that need their services, as semi-skilled workers.
The plan also requires domestic workers to work regular hours, get public holidays and days off.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Association of Foreign Maid Agencies (Papa) wants Indonesia to enhance its workers’ skills so that they could be specialised caregivers or trained nannies, The Star
Papa president Jeffrey Foo told the daily that with such specialised skills, maid can expect a wage of over RM1,000.
He added that the number of Indonesian maids have drastically decreased over the past seven years from about 300,000 to 50,000.
Malaysia is among the many countries that are notorious for maid abuse.
Among the most horrifying case of abuse is that of Indonesian Nirmala Bonat
, who was abused many times by her former employer Yim Pek Ha, including pouring hot water on her and pressing a hot iron to her skin.
Nirmala later brought a civil suit against Yim to claim for special damages for medical expenses, loss of income, transportation costs and other basic expenditures.