By Yow Hong Chieh
KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Malaysians must be prepared to “do their own work” should the time come when foreigners no longer wish to work as domestic help here, Datuk Seri S. Subramaniam said today.
The human resources minister said while foreign maids were readily available now, economic growth in source nations may mean foreigners will one day prefer to work in their home country instead.
“We have to learn how to do our own work. We have opened it so long as there is availability, it’s fine.
As countries evolve, we may not need maids or maids may not want to come and work here
“But... as countries evolve, we may not need maids or maids may not want to come and work here,” he told reporters at Menara Perkeso here.
He was responding to questions about the ongoing talks with Indonesia to send maids to Malaysia.
Jakarta banned its citizens from working as maids in Malaysia in June 2009, after numerous cases of maids being abused by their Malaysian employers.
Indonesia withdrew the moratorium on December 1 last year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak met with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in Bali at the end of last year as part of efforts to resolve the issue amicably.
But Jakarta has yet to start allowing the return of Indonesian domestic helpers to Malaysia despite rescinding the moratorium, leading to confusion here.
Subramaniam added today that the government was strengthening “support mechanisms” for Malaysians now with an eye to a possible maid supply crunch in the future.
However, he did not elaborate on the support mechanisms in question.