In year 2004, the first ever recorded of the nation worst abused and tortured of migrant staff member, Nirmala Bonat. The news headlines has brought to light the miserable and painful incidents as a 19th calendar year old Indonesian maid advised a harrowing history of how she was repeatedly burnt with an flat iron and scalded with boiling normal water by her Malaysian workplace. The Malaysian image of a caring country has been tarnished when pictures of abused Indonesian domestic workers were presented in major magazines. The reviews made great impact as it drew group of effect from disgusted and furious Malaysians who cannot believe the actual fact that participants of our very own community could commit such cruel serves.
I just cannot carry by looking at the images of Nirmala Bonat being brutalized by her company. What has she done to have earned such severe abuse from her workplace? If indeed, Nirmala Bonat is incompetent in her daily regimens work, she must have been came back to her agent for substitute. Manhandling a human being or soul, who's here to earn a better life and living is like committing a merciless criminal offense. Five years later in '09 2009, another similar Nirmala Bonat circumstance making the headlines once again. An Indonesian maid by the name, Siti Hajar was tortured by an old Malaysian lady with no sense of humanity whatsoever towards her.
Abusing migrant domestic worker or helper is no longer something new in the population. Siti Hajar's plight made the Malaysian and Indonesian marketing a headlines once again. News says that she being allegedly scalded with boiling normal water, tortured and starved. The most detrimental still she is merely fed with basic rice and once in a while her employer have asked the maid who is female to digest pork meat is only unforgivable at all. One after another, Siti Hajar circumstances has resulted in an alleged rape, physical abuse, denial of salaries and basic privileges of three Indonesian women by their workplace in Sungai Siput, Perak. Such acts are simply inhumane.
Up to dated, information shows more than hundred of thousand Indonesian women are believed to work in Malaysian homes as wishing to earn a much better life. Malaysia as the next largest vacation spot for Indonesian maid after Saudi Arabia besides Kuwait, Jordan, Hong Kong and some other countries including maid working in the United States of America. There are few question that I'd like to improve up here; will be the Indonesian maids working aboard under a good condition? Do they have the right for his or her earnings or even obtaining a freedom of people right? Never, I do understand why the Philippines maids were not abused or even being tortured actually. Is it because of the communication breakdown between the maid and the employer?
By creating a maid or migrant domestic helper, would it make things easier or difficult for us? Not to forget, most maid from Indonesia which can be brought into the country, basically are from a lower grade. It is because a more skilled and quality ones would be sent to other countries which provide a greater lucrative sum of money, countries like Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. This might lead to Malaysian employer felt they are being cheated as they have to be prepared to acknowledge those lower levels migrant domestic staff member. While the providers are allowed to capitalize on a rewarding business as they often clean their hands off when the staff are sent to the employers. Such situation left no option for the employer as they would need to train the lower grades domestic worker in home management from basic; How to get the laundry done? Clearing up the bathrooms? Getting the rubbish out of the house? Baby-sitting? Supporting our wives in the kitchen or even thinking about helping you as well as your family with baking? With all this situations, the company would conclude with plenty of burden and misery.
Before I go any further in talking about the possible measures that may be taken concerning suppress these issues effectively, why don't we take a glance at the Malaysian law and regulations on migrant personnel. The machine that is being practice in Malaysia has put migrant domestic employees at complete disadvantage so far as seeking for justice is concerned. This is because the migrant home workers are in a bigger drawback as they are not even considered 'workers' and therefore do not fall under the provisions of the Work Act. Regulations and insurance policies are enforced with great velocity and efficiency when migrant personnel violate these regulations and the problem is different when the company does the same offences.
Even tough, migrant staff make complaints against their employers, they will be subjected to various form of abuses including verbal and physical risks. This again triggers those to live under severe stress and fear. I've seen and noticed many situations where staff are immediately received their deal terminated and being repatriated back again to their home country where they can be laden with huge bad debts and poverty. Therefore, local personnel especially would endure the abuses and torture rather than returning to their countries clear handed.
The next point that I would like relating to this essay is the varieties of abuses endured by migrant home personnel in Malaysia. Press accounts merely stated that the wages to workers aren't paid as per the contract even once they have satisfied all the contract terms. Nevertheless, migrant home workers spend big money to come quickly to this country and almost all of the wages attained can be used to pay up lending options and debts, that they have anchored and concerning feed their own families back home. When employers do not pay the income, the workers put up with the most. Beside that, migrant local workers tend to be forced to reside in cramped, grubby and badly furnished shacks or crowded into houses designed for a tiny family. Some even sleeping on your kitchen floor with simply a piece of skinny bed. To be exact, home workers aren't given a proper rooms of their own and such property facilities that are not fit for living would lead to market poor conditions.
The situation, that i have described, brought a host where employers feel they may have the 'immunity electricity'. Hence migrant local workers are practically susceptible to their employers who are self-assured that they might be capable of geting away with almost anything. Some employers are totally aware that even if the problem is taken to the attention of the authorities like the civil courts or industrial courtroom, the immigrant policies in Malaysia would make it extremely difficult for the migrant worker to successfully seek justice or redress without first either running out of money or time both which is totally controlled the plans stipulated by the Immigration Division.
It is not until the single reason of Nirmala Bonat's case received a whole lot attention and quick redress was given because the severity of her accidents making the news of every local newspaper entrance page. Public outcry on her circumstance has prompted the Malaysian regulators to swing into immediate action. The responds show that Malaysian can administer justice swiftly and effectively when it decides to take action. It is essential to note that lots of instances go unreported in the marketing.
High profile conditions that drew attention has obligated Malaysia taking on the measures to be sure of maid abuses by inspecting on homes, interviews of maids and employers and also by launching a helpline. Therefore, concerning curb the issues effectively, I ask the government to offer swift action to migrant staff in seeking justice and safety. Employers who break regulations must be produced accountable. The government should impose bulkier consequence to maid abusers. Laws and plans that impede or delaying the justice system must be either amended or removed alongside one another.
The Malaysian federal must ensure that enforcement organizations such as the Immigration Division, Civil or Industrial Courtroom and the authorities Drive to enforce the law without bias and prejudice. Whereby there are instances been brought to my attention that migrant workers have often been put through extortion by enforcement personnel. Enforcement personnel are also recognized to take the employers' side in coercing employees to comply with unfair terms of work. These allegations of extortion and gross misconduct by enforcement personnel must be looked into. Enforcement must be completed swiftly and impartially against employers who do not follow the law. The authorities should never wait till there is a public outrage concerning get into action. In other words, all relevant specialists are to avoid all type of harassment on migrant local employees immediately.
I personally think that the federal government should set minimal work and living environment specifications that employers must abide by. These can be achieved effectively as the government must ratify the International Convention on Security of the Privileges of all Migrant Employees and Associates of their Families, which was implemented by the UN General Assembly in 1990 and ensure its full execution.
The cultural differences in Malaysia for a domestic staff member to work a day, seven days a week without off day while being paid salary below the nationwide poverty line. I would like to desire all migrant local workers who've been abused to bravely step forward and expose their employers as to put an end of mistreating them. The realtors too should be accountable for their carelessness and irresponsibility because so many Muslims maids who work in non-Muslim homes were required to bath dogs and dealt with pork. Such take action would absolutely insensitive on the part of the employers and the brokers. The perfect solution is would be that non-Muslim employers should be allowed and then hire non-Muslim maids while Muslim employers to generate Muslim maids.
The term 'Learn to live a life without maids' struck my brain as I was enjoying Nanny 911, a tv group of a Nanny allocated to homes concerning help out American couples in handling and taking care of their families. I would like to convey that men and children should also do housework. House chores aren't as easy as you think it would be. We Malaysian are a blessed lot even as we can afford to own maids with affordable rates yet there are issues of Indonesian maids now are asking for a bit more. Therefore, I'd say we ought to do the daily chores, home and outside ourselves. I've seen how typical it could be as only the women do everything at home as the men and children just laze around. Actually there are tones of work to be done in the house besides caring for the children. There is the sweeping and mopping, cleaning the toilets, cleansing meals, the laundry, the ironing, the baking, dusting the glass windows and units and the list continues on. This is not good to women especially, we ought to have an equilibrium and for the men and children should give a assisting hands in helping with the household chores. I think it is about time for us to figure out how to do something ourselves as this is something that we should ponder over.
I wish to suggest that we have to not solely rely upon maids from aboard. We could train our local women especially the single mothers or strictly a fulltime housewife. We're able to keep these things to come over on daily basis or even by the time as another solution in curbing the problems. This will likely lead to an inexpensive and less risk of home helper or maid being maltreatment because they are not require to remain with the company.
Career women with people to look after should change their mindset as placing the complete responsibility of the household works solely to the maid as their servant. Therefore to help ease their problems especially those having children could send those to a nursing or a childcare center during the times and opt for them up after work. The aspects of handling time with work and home duties are actually hard to control. I'd say, you will want to we undertake it ourselves as life has become a lot more easier with new inventions with the most advanced technology of electrical devices in doing home works.
Children are incredibly much a fast rate learner in everything if they were taught on how to do handle home chores. We ought to train our children to be more discipline and self-employed from a youthful age concerning be rid off the only real desire on maids. Parents can begin by revealing them how to keep their space clean and tidy, like constitute their mattresses as they acquired up from sleeping, rinse their own plates or even find the rubbish out of the house.
I would want to 'Live a life without the maid', the partner should ask the male partner for assistance, assistance and shares the responsibility in managing the house and their children. In most develop countries especially the westerner, we're able to notice that the men gender does not feel ashamed when come to household works. The couple would take changes and share equivalent responsibilities in elevating and caring for the family.
It is about time as the long-standing issue on the way to obtain maids is finally nearing a final result between Malaysia and Indonesia with the putting your signature on of the Notice of Intent (Lol) on amendments to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the Recruitment and Keeping Maids from Indonesia on the 18th May 2010. The Indonesian administration is expected to lift up its ban since June last year concerning allow its citizen to work in Malaysia again. Both authorities officials have been keeping meetings to solve issues with regards to the maids concern. Among the issues agreed to is the fact that maids in Malaysia will be given one day off weekly and their right to hold on to their passports. However, workplace and the maid matter could consent to forego the day off in lieu of compensation and an company could also store a maid's passport if both people agreed. The only real issue that continues to be pending is the income paid to migrant domestic workers as it needs more conversations.
Finally, I hope the federal government would understand Migrant Domestic Employees as personnel and grant all of them the rights that include the status. This hopefully will resolve the trouble. Possibly the employers should also be asked to sign an undertaking not to physically misuse the maid and if they're disappointed, the maids should be returned to the agency for even more training or getting a new replacement.
1. Prof Datuk Dr. Nik Safiah Karim, Brain of PERTIWI (2009). The Maids: Convenience vs Burden. Pertubuhan Tindakan Wanita Islam (PERTIWI).
2. Prof Madya Dr. Rusinah Siron, Social Research. (2009). Overcome your daily life without Indonesian maid. Universiti Tenaga Malaysia (UNITEN), Kuala Lumpur.
3. Article 'Maid deal soon', The Superstar, 19th May 2010.
4. Article 'Learn to live on without maids', The Celebrity, 24th May 2010.
5. Immigration Section of Malaysia.
6. Malaysian Job Act.
7. http://thestar. com. my/news/story/ Nirmala Bonat circumstance: Housewife found guilty, 18 years prison.