JAKARTA: Indonesia may temporarily stop sending domestic helpers to Malaysia after an Indonesian maid was recently reported to have been tortured, Indonesia's Antara news agency reported.
"We will likely stop it (dispatch of domestic helpers) temporarily. But we will first invite relevant ministers and parties to a meeting on June 23 to make a preliminary evaluation," Antara quoted Manpower and Transmigration Minister Erman Suparno as saying here on Thursday.
Among those to be invited to the meeting were the state minister for women's empowerment, the foreign minister, the law and human rights minister, the home affairs minister, the national police chief and the Indonesian ambassador to Malaysia as well as Malaysian representatives, he said.
As the decision to be taken at the meeting would have a systemic impact, his ministry could not decide on the dispatch of domestic helpers on its own without the input from other parties, he said.
"But I want it (the dispatch of domestic helpers) stopped until there is a response from the Malaysian government on protection of Indonesian migrant workers there," he said.
The plan to temporarily stop the dispatch of domestic helpers was the government's response to a myriad of problems being faced by Indonesian workers in Malaysia.
One of the latest of such problems arose from an incident befalling domestic helper Siti Hajar who came from Limbangan, Garut, West Java.
Suparno had earlier said delegations from the two countries were scheduled to hold talks on July 15 to discuss various problems facing Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia.
At the meeting, the Indonesian delegation would propose reviewing several clauses in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on cooperation in the manpower field both sides signed early this year.
The clauses, among others, relate to protection of Indonesian migrant workers and their rights as well as improvement of their salaries.
"If no agreement on the protection of Indonesian migrant workers is reached, we will consider putting a temporary stop to the dispatch of domestic helpers," the minister said.
He said he discussed the protection of migrant workers with Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam early this month when they attended the 98th International Labour Conference in Geneva. - BernamaEarlier Stories:
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