KUALA LUMPUR: Recycling has become profitable,
at least in the foreign maid agency business.
Recruiting agencies are in cahoots with Indonesian maids, encouraging
them to run away from their employers after the replacement period
of three months is over.
The maids are then sent to another employer and they are "recycled" up
to four times in 12 months.
Each time, an employer is charged about RM5,000 for the maid, meaning
that the unscrupulous agent stands to pocket up to RM20,000 a year
with just one maid.
According to Malaysian Association of Foreign Maids Agencies (Papa)
president Datuk Raja Zulkepley Dahalan, the maids are paid well
by the agents for leaving their employers.
Employers, meanwhile, are left in a lurch – losing not only
the RM5,000 they had paid for a maid but also having to make do
without the much-needed domestic help.
Raja Zulkepley said that 30,000 maids had absconded in the past
"There has been a rising number of reports from employers that the maid
agencies were recycling maids."
"Their mode of operation is for the maid to run away after three months,
which is the guaranteed replacement period. After this period, the agent does
not have to provide a replacement maid.
"A maid can legally remain in the country for 12 months and thus the agent
can recycle her up to four times," he added.
Accountant R. Rakesh believes he is among the "victims" of
"My maid ran away after three months with my family. My agent, however,
refused to give me a replacement even though I had bought an insurance policy
that ensures that I get one even if my maid ran away after three months.
"He claimed that there were not enough maids coming from Indonesia. But
he offered to send me a temporary maid on a daily wage basis.
"Needless to say, I am paying quite a bit for this," he added.
Rakesh approached another maid agency and was told there had been
many cases of maids running away after three months.
"We have actually found some maids, who had run away, being moved to other
states by their agents," he added, saying that he has lodged a police report
against his maid agency.
A lecturer, who asked to be named only as Rahman, said his maid
had also run away after three months. “The maid agency refused
to compensate me or find me a replacement as the 'three-month warranty
period' had expired".
"A few of my friends have also undergone the same thing."
When contacted, Immigration director-general Datuk Wahid Mohd Don
urged employers to call the department if they were victims of
such unscrupulous agents.
"Tell us who these agents are and we will investigate. If we find them to
be cheating employers, we will de-register and blacklist them. They cannot operate
a maid agency anymore," he added.